It has become widely recognised that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the biggest health threats that mankind faces encompassing huge health and economic burdens on governments and societies in every region of the globe. Widespread and extensive use of antibiotics in human and veterinary medicine as well as agricultural livestock has been linked to the development and spread of AMR. Antibiotics are used in food animals to prevent infectious diseases likely to have risen under the modern intensive farming conditions. Such practice encourages potential pathogenic microorganisms to evolve and become resistant to many currently therapeutic antibiotics. In addition, AMR can be transmitted horizontally and vertically between animal species, and from animals to humans and the environment. Reducing the unnecessary use of antibiotics and promoting the development of alternatives are among the key recommendations for immediate actions by governments worldwide.
The purpose of the PhD project is to evaluate the antimicrobial property of various indigenous medicinal plants and traditional herbal medicines for their potential application in treatment and/or prevention of infectious diseases in humans and/or animals, as well as providing a safe alternative to antibiotics in agricultural food animals. Evidence-based scientific knowledge will be obtained through in vitro and in vivo experimentations with analytical evaluation of efficacy on a number of health and growth parameters. Research skills to be trained in include conventional and advanced laboratory and analytical techniques across different disciplines of life sciences from microbiology to biochemistry, immunology, molecular biology, phytochemistry, analytical chemistry and biotechnology.
The project will be supervised by Dr Chen Situ of the Institute for Global Food Security/School of Biological Sciences and a second supervisor TBC.
Applications are welcome from candidates who can apply for external funding or demonstrate capability to fund their own research.