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Biology/Medicine: Fighting Against The Resistance – How Antimicrobial Resistance In Microbial Pathogens Has Become One Of The Greatest Challenges Facing Modern Society – University Tutorial With Dr Beth Williams From University of East Anglia

9th May 2023 @ 12:45 - 13:30

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In this live interactive Biology/Medicine tutorial, we will be joined by Dr Beth Williams, Lecturer in Microbiology in the School of Biological Sciences at UEA, who will explore Fighting Against The Resistance: How Antimicrobial Resistance In Microbial Pathogens Has Become One Of The Greatest Challenges Facing Modern Society.

The full context/introduction to this live and interactive discussion is provided in a Headliner recorded resource (see below). This recording can be watched as a class activity or independently in preparation for the discussion.

The discovery of Penicillin in 1928 was arguably one of the most significant scientific discoveries in the last century. Antibiotics have transformed the medical field, turning diseases that were once a death sentence into an easily treated inconvenience, as well as enabling advancements in organ transplants, cancer therapy and the treatment of chronic diseases with the ability to fight infection. 

However, a combination of overconfidence, misuse and bacterial mutation quickly lead to the development and spread of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in bacteria and other microbes. This has become such a problem that in 2014 the WHO officially declared AMR to be a ‘serious threat’, and it is now described as ‘one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today’. How did such a revolutionary discovery become so ineffective so quickly? Following an introductory video that covers the introduction of antibiotics and the basics of bacterial physiology, this session will delve into the various factors that have contributed to the growth of AMR. We will cover the various systems that microbes have developed to fight against antibiotics, and also the ways that human activity has exacerbated the problem. Despite the seriousness of this topic, all is not lost! There are things that we can do now to slow this growth, and we will talk about these as well as the research that is being carried out across the world to fight this resistance.



The session aims to deepen students’ understanding of the topic whilst enabling them to access and experience a live online university tutorial.

Lecturer Profile (Please Click): Dr Beth Williams


Our events are designed so that a group of students can take part from a classroom, or students and teachers can take part as individuals, either from school or from home. This means that sessions will continue irrespective of possible school closures.

As a live, participative event, this session will not be recorded but access to the Headliner recording will continue to be accessible.


Suitable for: Key Stage 5, and equivalent, students studying or with an interest in studying Biology/Medicine and related subjects. Teachers and members of school staff, as always, are welcome too and participants can join as individuals from school/college or home, or as a group from school/college.

Preparation/Pre-Reading: Students are asked to watch the Headliner recording and consider some of the key issues and any questions raised.

The IT Setup: The event will be run on Bluejeans and participants will be able to join using laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. If you are joining as a school group, we recommend connecting with one device and projecting on to a whiteboard. You will be able to interact with the university via a microphone and/or typed comments and questions. Full details will be sent to those who have registered (see below) prior to the event.

Booking a Place: This is free for schools and colleges. If you would like to take part in this event, please register your interest using the link to the registration form below:


Register here