Date: 23rd January 2019
Time: 1:00 – 2:00pm
Venue: CW.2.69, Stratford
Targeting Antimicrobial Resistance
Dr. Mukhlesur Rahman, Senior Lecturer, School of Health, Sports and Bioscience, University of East London
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a serious and complex problem for today’s healthcare system. Although numerous antibiotics have been discovered since the discovery of Penicillin, microorganisms are becoming increasingly resilient to these. AMR infections currently claim at least 50,000 lives each year across Europe and the US alone. The situation in developing countries like India, Bangladesh and Nigeria is even worse because of self-medication and irrational uses of antibiotics. If no action is taken, it is predicted that AMR will be the leading healthcare problem counting in excess of 10 million deaths per year by 2050.
The disastrous issue of AMR has been debated in the UK parliament which led to the development of a policy- ‘UK Five Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2013-18’. Optimizing prescribing practice and development of new drugs are emphasized among 7 key areas for future actions to control AMR. The World Health Organization has emphasized the use of indigenous medicinal plants to treat various diseases including infections. It is necessary to focus on medicinal plants that have been used for centuries in Ayurveda and Unani, Chinese herbal medicine to explore the key chemical compounds that are responsible for the potential antimicrobial activity.
So, in order to combat AMR, it is no doubt important to carry research covering two main areas- (i) raising public awareness on the brutality of AMR and irrational uses of antibiotics and (ii) systematic drug discovery approach for new antimicrobial agents. Whilst the first part could be achieved by conducting surveys, the scientific part require focus on the characterization of antimicrobial compounds from the traditional herbs or soil microbes in tackling AMR which is expected to have significant long-term positive impact on healthcare.
Mukhlesur Rahman is a Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Science and Programme Leader for Pharmaceutical Science at UEL. Dr Rahman completed Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) and Master of Pharmacy from the University of Dhaka with first class in both programmes. He obtained PhD in Natural Product Chemistry from the University of Strathclyde. His research is focused on the bioassay guided isolation and identification of secondary metabolites from natural sources. Mukhlesur worked at Organon (Bangladesh) Ltd, University of Rajshahi, UCL School of Pharmacy and Novacta Biosystem before taking up the position at UEL in 2011.
Dr Rahman is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), member of Royal Society of Biology (MRSB), American Society of Pharmacognosy, International Society of Ethnopharmacology, Phytochemical Society of Europe and Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Great Britain. He is deputy chair of the Natural Products focus group at the Academy of the Pharmaceutical Science of Great Britain (APSGB).
Dr Rahman’s main research area is natural product chemistry with particular focus on anti-infective drug discovery. His research interests includes bioassay directed isolation, purification and identification of antibacterial metabolites from medicinal plants and microbes as well as the synthesis of their analogues to fit them for SAR study. Dr Rahman has been working on numerous medicinal plants from different parts of the world for the isolation and characterization of bio-active metabolites from a variety of structural classes including anti-MRSA compounds and efflux pump inhibitors (EPIs). In order to confirm the structures of the compounds of natural products, Dr Rahman exploits high field NMR (both 1D and 2D) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. He has published 84 articles in peer review journals and attended several international conferences in UK, USA, Switzerland, Austria, Greece, Bangladesh and India as invited speaker. He supervised two Postdoctoral Research Fellows and five Commonwealth Professional fellows at UEL investigating the isolation and identification of bioactive compounds from medicinal plants and mushrooms. He is currently supervising PhD and MRes students which are focused on the characterization of anti-infective secondary metabolites from medicinal plants and soil microbes. He has received external grants from the Commonwealth Commission, Newton-Bhabha fund, British Council and Royal Society of Chemistry.
Session Chair: Professor Olivia Corcoran, School of Health, Sports and Bioscience
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