Workshop to discuss drug development against antimicrobial resistant TB

Public Health England (PHE) and the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD) have invited applicants to collaborate in a UK-India workshop at Bengaluru in December 2017


Bengaluru: Bringing together experts from across the UK and India, a five-day workshop will explore innovative approaches for the development of new antibiotics. This Newton Fund – Royal Society of Chemistry workshop will take place from 14 to 18 December 2017 at the Bengaluru-based Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD). Forty participants, twenty each from India and the UK, will be selected through open competition and steered by 10 expert mentors and observers.

A panel of expert mentors from British Council, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, PHE, RGICD, Royal Society of Chemistry and the University of York has been convened to consider the chemistry-microbiology interface and scope for innovation.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis image ©Crown copyright 2017. Multi- and extensively-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR & XDR TB) is one of the biggest challenges facing mankind.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Multi- and extensively-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR & XDR TB) is one of the biggest challenges facing mankind. (©Crown copyright)

The collaboration will explore a range of issues, from design and synthesis of novel drugs through to their preclinical evaluation, with a particular emphasis on antimicrobial resistance to tuberculosis.

Dr Rashmi Shukla CBE, PHE Director and executive lead for India said: “We hope that the workshop will lay the foundation for a range of interlinked researchers in this critically important field of study and the work will help the global fight against TB and antimicrobial resistance.”

Professor Seshadri Vasan, PHE Senior Business Development Manager and mentor for this workshop said: “We are pleased to strengthen our collaboration with the RGICD, where PHE has a collaborative centre for infectious diseases emergency preparedness and response funded by DfID. We have imparted biosafety training and refresher programmes to 34 frontline doctors, nurses, laboratory and ancillary staff since 2015.”

Professor C. Nagaraja Director, RGICD mentioned, “Multi- and extensively-drug resistant tuberculosis is one of the biggest crises facing mankind, so this workshop is of topical importance.”

Applicants who have obtained their PhD or MD or equivalent qualification on or after 1 July 2004 will be eligible to apply. The call for applications will close on 15 September and successful applicants will be notified by October 2017.

The selected early career researchers will work with mentors who are clinical and research microbiologists, medicinal chemists and commercial experts, to explore innovative approaches and develop a deeper understanding of the range of disciplines that underpin research on antibiotics development and evaluation.

The Newton Fund and the Royal Society of Chemistry have worked with PHE’s Dr Mark Sutton and Professor Seshadri Vasan to facilitate this event, which will strengthen existing and future collaboration between the two countries.