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Warwick scientific expertise shapes BBC Radio 4 drama

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Scientific expertise at Warwick has shaped the new BBC Radio 4 drama, Resistance, concerning the threat of antibiotic resistance which can have a universal effect.

The three-part story airing in March was partly created by Professor Christopher Dowson of Warwick Antimicrobial Interdisciplinary Centre and the Life Sciences department.

A turbulent epidemic of a drug-resistance disease is told in the show which highlights the real-life obstacles that the scientific and medical community face.

Resistance stars actress Gina McKee who appeared in Notting Hill, and is written by crime writer Val McDermid. The main character, Zoe Meadows, is a journalist at a music festival in North East England when a mysterious illness begins to spread.

Throughout the drama, listeners on Radio 4 hear how the disease develops into a grand-scale epidemic.

The brand-new show combines creative drama with factual science to highlight the genuine threat of antibiotic resistance to the safety of everyone in the world.

Professor Dowson and his colleagues at Warwick are working towards mitigating this threat with the discovery of effective antimicrobials, by researching why specific illnesses resist drugs, and exploring alternative antimicrobial therapies.

“Communicating the seriousness of increasing antimicrobial resistance to a wide audience is of vital importance, and this radio drama is a powerful tool to help us do that,” Professor Dowson has said.

“Bringing scientific research to a creative project like Resistance was a uniquely enjoyable and inspiring experience,” he reflected.

“The discovery of new antibiotics that are effective against the most resistant strains of bacteria is challenging,” he admitted.

“We need public support and advocacy to help change how we use our dwindling supply of current antibiotics (both in humans and animals) and all importantly in new models to fund the discovery of antibiotics that will sidestep resistance.”

Resistance is set to air on 3, 10 and 17 March at 2.15pm on BBC Radio 4.

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