• Tackling antibiotic resistance with Dr Sarah Pitt - online event

    Tackling antibiotic resistance with Dr Sarah Pitt, Principal Lecturer, School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, Brighton University - online event Sarah will talk for about 45 minutes via Zoom, with opportunities for questions and answers at points during and after the talk. My talk will give an overview of how antibiotics work to stop the growth of bacteria and how and why resistance to the treatments has arisen. I will explain the idea of ‘antibiotic stewardship’ and some ways in which microbiologists are attempting to use these drugs more wisely to ensure that they can continue to be used in treatment. I have a BSc (Hons) in Microbiology from Bristol University, an MSc in Parasitology from Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and a PhD in Microbiology from Liverpool John Moores University. I am registered with the Health and Care Professions Council as a Biomedical Scientist and a Fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS). My area of specialisation in hospital diagnostic work is clinical virology and I am the IBMS Chief Examiner for Virology for the UK. However in terms of interest, teaching and research, I am a general medical microbiologist. I am currently focusing on near patient testing for microbiological diseases. After graduating with the BSc in 1987, I worked in hospital diagnostic laboratories for the NHS, along with periods in Zimbabwe and Tajikistan. I moved to Sussex in 2004 and in 2011 I was appointed to a full time lecturer post at Brighton University. I am involved in teaching and training of biomedical scientists. This includes being part of teams designing and evaluating undergraduate and postgraduate courses, both at Brighton University and at the national level, for my professional body. I have published three text books to support students’ learning (one on professional aspects of biomedical science, one on parasitology and one on clinical microbiology). I started work on the snail mucus project in 2014 with my husband, Dr Alan Gunn of Liverpool John Moores University. He is an invertebrate biologist, so our skills and experience complement each other. However we are both rather surprised to have discovered a potential new antibiotic!

  • Red wine, chocolate, or...? The science of anti-ageing medicines. Online event.

    A Zoom link will be sent in advance of the event. Will red wine and chocolate really keep you healthy? The science behind the search for anti-ageing medicines, with Prof Lizzy Ostler on Wednesday 9th December - talk starts at 7:30pm. There is growing evidence that many of the processes of ageing, such as heart disease, dementia and arthritis, could be prevented or remediated by simple chemical compounds. Over the last five years, researchers have shown that the removal or alteration of the behaviour of senescent cells has the potential to reduce multiple age-related pathologies. The development of orally-available broad-spectrum anti-degenerative medicines based on targeting senescent cells is now a realistic goal. A wide variety of natural products, often isolated from “super-foods” including grapes and cocoa beans, have long been identified as potential lead compounds for such anti-ageing therapeutics. However, many such compounds have multiple biological activities, and may be poorly absorbed. We designed and synthesised a library of variants of Resveratrol, and have been using this panel of Resveralogues to find out how they really work, and whether they can be turned into real life anti-ageing therapies. A subset of our compounds is able to “rejuvenate” cultures of senescent cells. The implications of our findings for the design of future anti-degeneratives will be presented. Lizzy Ostler is Head of Chemistry in the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Brighton. She took both her BSc in Chemistry and PhD in heterocyclic synthesis at Bristol University, before moving to Brighton to work on Catalytic Antibodies. There she was appointed lecturer in analytical chemistry and began to work closely with the ageing group. The application of analytical and synthetic chemistry tools to solve the problems of human ageing has been the focus of her research over the last 15 years, culminating in the award of a Professorial chair in 2018.