Overcoming Microbial Drug Resistance

Antimicrobial drugs are a powerful tool for controlling microbial infections. However, their overuse has led to the emergence of drug-resistant microbial populations, causing a global health threat that needs to be addressed.

In this course, we study how antimicrobial drugs work. We examine the mechanisms by which microorganisms develop resistance to these interactions, and discuss the factors that have contributed to the rapid spread of such resistance. Finally, we survey current approaches to overcoming drug resistance, such as modifying the chemical structure of known antimicrobials, or identifying new microbial vulnerabilities that can be exploited.

For the end-of-term project, you will research an antimicrobial drug of your choice to which resistance has emerged. You will investigate the biology of the microorganism and the infection it produces, and available drugs to treat the infection. Then, you will investigate the drug-target interactions, and the mechanism of resistance. Based on your understanding of the problem, you will propose a new strategy for overcoming the drug resistance of this organism in order to treat the infection effectively.

This course will be offered in Winter 2020. It is listed on Aurora under the subject Science Interdisciplinary, course number SCI 2000. Enrolment will be by permission of the instructor. Students who enroll should have taken BIOL 1020, CHEM 1300, CHEM 1310. For more information please contact the instructor.