TARGeTED: Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance through Goal-orientated Thinking in the EPS Disciplines

Lead Research Organisation: University of York
Department Name: Research and Enterprise Office

Abstract

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious threat to human and animal health. The problem is multifactorial, spans across many disciplines and involves stakeholders from right across society's spectrum. Our belief is that by engaging researchers from different disciplines, we can ask new questions and develop new solutions to the AMR challenge. Scientists engaged in EPS can bring novel insights and innovative technologies to many aspects of the AMR challenge but there are barriers to their engagement with goal-orientated, inter-disciplinary research. We have identified the conditions that lead to successful inter-disciplinary research outcomes; receptiveness, understanding, communication, resources and networks. We have put together a programme of activities that will create the time and space for researchers from EPS to engage in thinking about the AMR challenge in such a way that they will be able to identify tractable problems that they can solve. To start with we will focus on areas of research excellence currently being conducted at the University of York that have not to date been applied to AMR research, but promise to provide new insights and innovative solutions. These areas are 'Novel tools for understanding and controlling bacterial behaviour' and 'Novel biosensors and diagnostics'. We recognize that a successful 'Bridging the Gap' programme will bring together collaborations between researchers not yet engaged with the AMR agenda and we have incorporated into our activities strategies to reach these people. The outcome will be an exciting community of inter-disciplinary researchers working on the challenges of AMR that are communicating, sparking ideas, writing papers and applying for further funding.

Planned Impact

Three broad categories of beneficiary have been identified on three different timescales: Immediate, Intermediate and Long-term.

Immediate beneficiaries (within 1-2 years) will be academics, and the research and support staff at UoY. The programme of activities we aim to support will help develop a culture of interdisciplinary 'goal-orientated' research, and lower barriers to collaboration.
- Academics will benefit from new opportunities to win external funding, gain new collaborators, enjoy new research challenges and gain new skills.
- Researchers engaging in pump priming projects will gain experience of working on tractable problems and will benefit from multiple interactions within an interdisciplinary environment.
- Support staff will be trained in facilitation and programme delivery to enable them to support programme objectives more effectively.

Intermediate beneficiaries (between 1 and 5 years) will be stakeholders such as industry, external academics, NHS collaborators and the general public.
- Industry, academic and NHS partners will gain from new methods, ideas and opportunities for developing and refining approaches to their AMR-centred research with UoY staff.
- The general public will benefit from an improved understanding of AMR, the challenges it imposes on individuals and society, and the complex and interdisciplinary nature of the solutions.

Long-term beneficiaries (from 3-15 years onwards) are ultimately those suffering from the effects of AMR, but benefitting from improved treatments, faster diagnostic methods and decision-making tools, thus enhancing their quality of life.
- Industry will gain economic benefit from application of new research and technologies into their products.
- Professionals in the healthcare services will benefit from new practices, procedures and/or tools.
- Policy makers, informed by the outcomes of the research, will review the impact of novel tools, knowledge and processes on health and welfare issues spanning health, economics, and societal agendas.
 
Title Anna Dumitriu 
Description 'Viral Interventions' is a diptych, derived using the antibiotic producing bacterium Streptomyces coelicolor, genetically modified in antibiotic production, with bacteriophages (sterilised), embroidery, silk. 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact The diptych, Viral interventions, was displayed at York art gallery from Dec 2016 to Jan, 2017. Plans for further exhibitions are also set for 2017 onwards. 
URL http://www.normalflora.co.uk
 
Description Workshops, pump priming projects and other activities have stimulated a broad interest in AMR across the University. There is now a strong and coherent community of York PIs who are engaged in AMR research and either have or are planning to apply for research grants in the AMR field. York PIs in the physical sciences have already gained significant funding resulting from the pump priming. There has also been a good level of skills training at all research levels. Importantly there is a much greater level of interaction in this and other research areas between physical scientists and other disciplines, particularly biology.
Exploitation Route Various, areas that align with pump priming projects (see other outputs)
Sectors Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

URL https://www.york.ac.uk/staff/research/research-development/targeted-amr-project/#tab-1
 
Description Centre for Future Health (Wellcome Trust)
Amount £30,300 (GBP)
Organisation University of York 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2017 
End 07/2018
 
Description DRIVERS OF HUMAN EXPOSURE TO ANTIBACTERIAL RESISTANCE IN THE SRI LANKAN ENVIRONMENT
Amount £80,618 (GBP)
Funding ID MR/R014876/1 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2017 
End 06/2018
 
Description EPSRC GCRF: Sensors for clean water: a participatory approach for technology innovation
Amount £1,182,012 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P027571/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2017 
End 04/2020
 
Description EPSRC Healthcare Impact Partnerships
Amount £1,100,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2017 
End 05/2020
 
Description EPSRC Resonant and shaped photonics for understanding the physical and biomedical world
Amount £1,623,997 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P030017/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2017 
End 07/2022
 
Description EPSRC Strategic Award
Amount £61,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 09/2019
 
Description Feasibility studies to encourage better management and use of biofilms
Amount £30,000 (GBP)
Organisation Unilever 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2017 
End 05/2017
 
Description Feasibility studies to encourage better management and use of biofilms.
Amount £48,000 (GBP)
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2016 
End 01/2017
 
Description James Burgess scholarship
Amount £90,000 (GBP)
Organisation Burgess Road Surgery 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 09/2020
 
Description Pathways, Practices and Architectures: Containing Antimicrobial Resistance in the Cystic Fibrosis Clinic (PARC)
Amount £200,019 (GBP)
Funding ID AH/R002037/1 
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
End 01/2020
 
Description Research Stage Abroad Fellowship
Amount £2,400 (GBP)
Organisation São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) 
Sector Public
Country Brazil
Start 04/2017 
End 07/2017
 
Description The management and use of biofilms, Innovate UK/BBSRC
Amount £140,000 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2016 
End 10/2016
 
Description Wellcome Trust CIDACTS studentships
Amount £60,000 (GBP)
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 09/2019
 
Description Partnership with Unilever Plc in relation to 'The biophysics of novel anti-biofilm treatments' 
Organisation Unilever
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Our work helped to demonstrate the feasibility of lactam analogues as components of cleaning products, by providing experimental evidence for efficacy and a mechanistic understanding of the process through visualisation and modelling. The work will achieve impact through guiding the development of anti-biofilm products that make up a component of Unilever's household care product line.
Collaborator Contribution Worked collaboratively with our research team on the above mentioned work, and also enabled the York team to broaden their network of contacts in other reserach institutions to position us well for forthcoming biofilm-related funding calls.
Impact This collaboration led directly to a successful application to Innovate UK, led by Unilever Plc, which has a total value to the University of York of £78,000
Start Year 2015
 
Description Delivery the Leeds Darwin Day lecture to the British Humanist Association 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact British Humanist society invited me to deliver a lecture entitled 'Back to the Dark Ages; Evolution and antibiotic resistance'. This was a 1 hour lecture followed by 30 minutes of Q&A.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://humanism.org.uk/2017/02/09/is-humanity-heading-back-to-the-dark-ages-professor-maggie-smith-...
 
Description Half-day training workshop on 'Communicating with Industry' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Creation of a half-day training workshop on 'Communicating with Industry' that has been adopted into ongoing University staff training offering and the format utilised in support of BBSRC Seeding Catalyst and FTMA award.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Pint of Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact an evening talking about the micro biome and antibiotics. The evening increased the debate on antibiotic resistance
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://pintofscience.co.uk/event/resistance-and-virulence/
 
Description Pint of Science presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation given in York, as part of Pint of Science events, titled 'Following (and looking after) your gut', and based on TARGeTED work, given on 15 May 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Plasma Conference (Bratislava, Slovakia) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact International conference on plasma medicine: Dr Deborah O'Connell was invited to give a talk at this international conference on the COST microplasma reference source, which was used by members of our research team in work correlating the distribution of key reactive plasma generated species.
This served to disseminate our research to a wider academic audience and generated both questions and contacts within the field.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Presentation at Physics in Food Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact The talk analysed: Guided Mode Resonance Imaging- Monitoring Early Stage Biofilm Formation
Presented by: Yue (Christina) Wang, GT Triggs, Chris Reardon and Thomas F Krauss
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description TARGeTED 1st workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We published a video of our first workshop that aimed to bring together researchers interested in AMR from different disciplines.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/staff/research/research-development/targeted-amr-project/launch-event/
 
Description Yornight 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact And evening of talks on the value of antibiotics, the micro biome and antibiotic resistance. Sparked discussion
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://yornight.com/2015/activities/medical-society/
 
Description sky news 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Sky news filmed the research lab and interviews on the subject of AMR
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/video/shows-interior-shots-research-scientists-working-in-a-lab-...