Lab Canada

$2M supports research on antibiotic resistance

Vancouver, BC – Research into new ways of fighting antibiotic resistant bacteria has received a $2 million boost from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

The funding is part of a $4 million commitment for six projects involving international collaboration with researchers at UBC, McMaster University and Université Laval.

“Antibiotic resistance is a global health crisis that UBC scientists are working with partners across Canada and around the world to solve,” said John Hepburn, UBC vice president research and international.

Natalie Strynadka, a professor of biochemistry in UBC’s Faculty of Medicine and the Canada research chair in antibiotic discovery and medicine, uses advanced biophysical tools to visualize the individual atoms that make up critical proteins in antibiotic resistant bacteria, effectively creating a molecular blueprint that is considered central to unraveling their function in disease and drug resistance.

“The blueprint gives us an understanding, at the molecular level, of how bacteria infect and manipulate human cells and in turn become so virulent,” said Strynadka, who is part of an international research collaboration called the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance. “With this atomic three-dimensional information we can design drugs to specifically block these actions and create new antibiotics to be used in clinical settings.”