Government of Canada partners to protect Canadians

OTTAWA, Nov. 14, 2011 /CNW/ - The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology today announced that leading researchers from Canada and the United Kingdom will be working together to address the challenge of antibiotic resistance with funding from the Government of Canada and the UK Medical Research Council.

"Our Government is committed to protecting Canadians. Antibiotic resistance is a serious challenge facing Canadians and our health care system," said Minister Goodyear. "Our Government is pleased to support this important collaborative effort to develop new strategies and tools to protect Canadians from antibiotic resistant infections."

Two Canada-UK research teams have been funded through the Canada/UK Partnership on Antibiotic Resistance, a collaboration between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the UK Medical Research Council. The partnership takes advantage of the strong academic and clinical research strengths that exist in both Canada and the UK. Its aim is to stimulate high quality research on innovative alternatives to existing antibiotics.

The two research teams are as follows:

  • A team led by Professor Gary Dmitrienko of the University Waterloo and Professor Tim Walsh of the University of Cardiff will focus on hospital acquired infections with the aim of developing a new treatment for infections caused by bacteria resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics (e.g., penicillin, carbapenems).
  • A team led by Professor Anthony Clarke of the University of Guelph and Professor Chris Dowson of the University of Warwick will focus on increasing our understanding of bacterial cell wall growth and production with the aim of identifying new targets for the development of new antibiotics.

"The UK Medical Research Council has made huge strides over the last century to stem the tide of bacterial infection", says Professor Doreen Cantrell, Chair of the Immunity and Infections Board at the Medical Research Council. "We must remain one step ahead of bacterial infections as they quickly learn how to combat drugs designed to beat them. We're hopeful that the Canada /UK Partnership on Antibiotic Resistance will add a new momentum to the work we have been carrying out in the UK and Canada."

Backgrounder

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's health research investment agency. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 14,100 health researchers and trainees across Canada.

For almost 100 years the Medical Research Council has improved the health of people in the UK and around the world by supporting the highest quality science. The MRC invests in world-class scientists. It has produced 29 Nobel Prize winners and sustains a flourishing environment for internationally recognised research. The MRC focuses on making an impact and provides the financial muscle and scientific expertise behind medical breakthroughs, including one of the first antibiotics penicillin, the structure of DNA and the lethal link between smoking and cancer. Today MRC funded scientists tackle research into the major health challenges of the 21st century.

 

For further information:

Media Enquiries:

David Coulombe
Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
613-941-4563
mediarelations@cihr-irsc.gc.ca

Cathy Beveridge
Press Office
Medical Research Council
Press Office
020 7395 2276
catherine.beveridge@headoffice.mrc.ac.uk

For more information on the Canada/UK Partnership on Antibiotic Resistance, please contact:

Dr. Judith Bray
Assistant Director
CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity
613-954-7223
judith.bray@cihr-irsc.gc.ca