Division of Microbiology and Infection established at WMS

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Warwick Medical School (WMS) has launched a new division of Microbiology and Infection worth four million pounds.

The new research group will consist of twenty staff and postgraduate students, and will be run by Professor Mark Pallen.

State-of-the-art facilities have been installed, such as a MiSeq high-throughput sequencing instrument.

Professor Pallen said: “I’m delighted to see Warwick making such a bold commitment to our discipline.

“The need for new investment in this area has been reinforced by the recent report by the chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, ramming home the need for a better understanding of the evolution and spread of multi-drug resistant pathogens and how we can best avoid and treat the infections they cause.”

The aim of the new division is to act as a starting point for a new campus-wide research centre, and for it to operate on a national and international scale. Pr Pallen wishes to initiate links in Gambia with microbiologists at the MRC centre.

The new research centre will integrate laboratory-based research with a wide variety of research activities, including epidemiology, medicinal chemistry, clinical infectious diseases and the history of medicine.

It will also form links with regional, national and global stakeholders, such as the health services, industry, the government and NGOs.

Furthermore, world-class clinical academic Dr Esther Robinson will work with the Heart of England NHS Trust to create a link between the new department and research into clinical microbiological problems.

Professor Peter Winstanley, the dean of WMS, commented: “I am thrilled to see this coming to life. The importance of microbiology and infection cannot be over-emphasized.

“Diseases like malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis stalk the planet, while even in developed countries, pathogens all too often contaminate our food or infect vulnerable patients in our hospitals.”

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