Research in Focus: Antibiotic Resistance in Skin Wound Infections
As part of #BiofilmWeek, we’re highlighting interesting and exciting biofilm research being undertaken across our NBIC partner research institutions by early career researchers, PhD students and our Interdisciplinary Research Fellows.
In this blog, our academic partner Snehal Kadam, a first year PhD student from Hull York Medical School at the University of Hull gives us an overview of her research into understanding antibiotic resistance in skin wound infections, and also talks about her passion for science communication and outreach.
We’ve all experienced a wound at some point in our lives. Luckily for most of us, wounds tend to heal within a few weeks. However, sometimes wounds can get infected and this delays healing. Wound infections consist of a plethora of microbes, and this entire bacterial community, also known as the wound microbiome, is what plays a key role in determining treatment outcomes, and ultimately wound healing. Routinely, for the treatment of such wound infections, antibiotics are used. However, a lot of the infecting microbes are actually resistant to these antibiotics. Additionally, the formation of biofilms in wounds makes treating such infections even more difficult.
While our understanding of the wound microbiome has increased over the last couple of years, very little is known about the resistance profile of the wound microbiome. Given the rise in antibiotic resistance, studying this resistance profile of wound microbial communities and how it changes over time, as well as with treatment, is important. This can serve as a crucial first step in understanding mixed communities of bacteria in wounds, and how resistance profiles of different microbes can together lead to the recalcitrance of the whole community. This could have implications in the future on clinical diagnostics as well as infection relevant healthcare.
Apart from my research, I am also interested in science communication and outreach. Together with Dr Karishma Kaushik from India, run a weekly, interactive webinar series called, Talk To A Scientist. Every week we conduct webinars for young minds between the ages of 6-16 on various scientific topics. In March 2021, we completed one year of this programme. Developing scientific content for kids has really changed the way I communicate science, and Talk To A Scientist has become a weekly highlight for me. Through this platform we not only want to showcase that science is fun, but also showcase the diversity that exists in science, and create new and modern-day role models for these young minds. We also have multiple guest scientists in our platform as well, and all of them have commented on the audience as being “the best they have ever given a scientific presentation to,” but the curiosity and enthusiasm we receive from all of our young participants is what really keeps us going each week.
I am really excited to see my PhD research take shape over the next two years, and also hope to engage with the science communication community here in the UK.
Find out more
Learn more about Snehal’s love for science in her International Women’s Day blog, where she shared with NBIC her biggest achievements and experiences of being a #WomaninScience.
If you would like to connect with Snehal please contact NBIC at email@example.com.
Snehal Kadam, PhD student at the Hull York Medical School, University of Hull.