Tag: microbes

  • The value of community – bacterial or innovation…

    Uncategorized | Jackie Hunter

    It’s good to be back to blogging after taking a break from my keyboard over the summer. I took some time away from the office as well. In August there were a couple of weeks of weeding, including Arabidopsis (model organism or not it has to go from the borders), dog walking, fruit picking and repotting followed by a much more restful week in Malta in September. However since returning life has got very busy and the next few months promise to be interesting leading up to the Spending Review announcement in November. […]

  • Fantastic Fellows (and a final comment on Tim Hunt and sexism in the lab)

    Uncategorized | Jackie Hunter

    I really enjoyed my visit to the biennial BBSRC Fellows Conference in York last week. Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend all of day one as I was in Cambridge first thing discussing the potential for further development of Agri-Tech East with a number of other of key stakeholders but I did manage to arrive before the dinner and had the chance to talk to some of the fellows both before dinner and during the meal. The range of research that is supported through our fellowship schemes is truly breath-taking. This was highlighted further the next day when a number of Future Leader Fellows presented their research in the form of short ‘elevator pitches’ which was a master class in conveying information succinctly and clearly. […]

  • Our need for industry in delivering benefits from research

    Uncategorized | Jackie Hunter

    The issue of Nature last week contained a special supplement on Innovations in the Microbiome. The microbiome is something I have become increasingly fascinated with, starting from early realisations of its importance whilst at GlaxoSmithKline, through to the work BBSRC sponsors at the Institute of Food Research and in universities. It was interesting to read the article by Nestlé, who sponsored the supplement, charting their interest in probiotic bacteria and the microbiome. Much of this work is done in conjunction with academia and indeed much of it could not have been done by Nestlé alone. But similarly, the academic researchers have needed Nestlé to translate their work into applications with industry and consumer benefit. […]

  • Tackling resistance is far from futile

    Uncategorized | Jackie Hunter

    One of the ways BBSRC seeks input from our research community and other stakeholder groups is through our Research Advisory Panel (RAP). The panel helps with assessing our strategic thinking across the range of our activities and we had our first meeting of the year last week. One of the areas we discussed was anti-microbial resistance (AMR). Of course this has been an issue that has been very much to the fore in the past couple of years since the publication of Dame Sally Davies’s report on the subject and a report last year by RAND showed that the economic burden of AMR globally in the future will place a substantial burden on the world economy. The report concludes that it is this future burden that renders AMR a “challenge of utmost importance”.  There is also a UK government 5-year strategy for tackling anti-microbial resistance covering both human and animal AMR which was published in 2013 with the first annual progress report published in December 2014. There is still a need to increase understanding of AMR and its implications among non-scientists.  For example an informal, and yes very random, trawl of people I met last year from taxi drivers to friends and family showed that many people still think it is the person that is resistant to the antibiotic rather than the bug! I am pleased to see that Dame Sally will be taking her message about the threat from AMR to the AAAS Annual Meeting in the United States next month, where the Research Councils will also have a strong presence emphasising the importance of global collaboration to tackle this and other major challenges facing us. […]