Finding new antibiotics in deep, dark and wonderous places
  • Truro and Penwith College, College Road, Truro, Cornwall TR1 3XX

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Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today. If new, powerful antibiotic drugs are not discovered, we ‘may’ return to the pre-antibiotic era.

Mat Upton, Professor in Medical Microbiology and his team from the University of Plymouth think that the solution may lie deep under the surface of the ocean, in dark, cold environments where weird and wonderful sponges live. 

Marine sponges and the deep-sea ecosystem are comparatively under-studied and under-exploited compared with life in shallower waters so the team are identifying and developing potential new antimicrobials produced by the microbiome of sponges which live deep beneath the ocean surface.

Join Mat, who is also the lead for the University's Antibiotic Resistant Pathogens Research Group, at TEDxTruro on 26 October to discover if new antibiotics can be found in deep, dark places.

Also relish in riveting discussions on space, psychedelics, and technology plus so much more in this ‘Wonder’ themed TEDx.

Date: Friday 26 October, 09:30-16:30

Venue:  Truro and Penwith College, College Road, Truro, Cornwall TR1 3XX

Visit the TEDxTruro website above for further information about the event.
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About TED

TED is a nonprofit organisation devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics (from science to business to global issues) in more than 100 languages. 

Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world. 

(Information as available on the TED website:

About TEDx 

TEDx is an independently organised TED event. TEDx is run in a similar way, in the spirit of ‘ideas worth spreading’. TEDx events are locally organised and combine a selection of live speakers, TEDTalks videos, as well as an atmosphere for meaningful conversations and connections to be made.

Antibiotic research

The University has a commitment to World Antibiotics Awareness Week, a national initiative from the World Health Organisation to raise awareness of the global health threat posed by antibiotic resistance.

By 2050, an estimated 10 million people a year will die from antibiotic resistance if nothing is done now.

At the University's Institute of Translational and Stratified Medicine (ITSMed), we are conducting world-leading research into a new class of antibiotic, Antimicrobial Peptides. Led by Dr Mathew Upton, if successful, it will be the first new antibiotic in 30 years, with a single dose as effective as six doses of the standard of care.

Visit our webpage for further information about our world-leading research.

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