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Dr Blessing Oyedemi (2021)

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Employing institution: Michael Okpara University of Agriculture (Nigeria)

Host institution: Nottingham Trent University (UK)

Project title: Development of critical skills to lead future research into the antibiofilm efficacy of natural compounds against bacterial pathogens including Pseudomonas aeruginosa for drug development.

Dr Oyedemi has studied natural antimicrobial products that target resistance mechanisms such as efflux, R-plasmid and biofilms in bacteria during a Commonwealth funded PhD at University College London and as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Nottingham.

Her interest in microbiology started when she took a course in pathogenic microbiology as an undergraduate. From then on, her entire passion and research career has been guided towards microbiological research. 

AREF Fellowship Research Project:

Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) causes serious opportunistic infections and is notorious for its development of biofilm mediated-antibiotic resistance. Therefore, developing novel natural hits is urgently needed to overcome the inherent difficulties in treating biofilm-associated PA infections. 

During her fellowship, she will be part of Nottingham Trent University Antimicrobial Resistance, Omics and Microbiota (NTU AROM). She aims derive in-depth scientific knowledge and expand her network, using these opportunities as a platform to become a leader in her scientific field and an impact in her home institution.

Beyond her fellowship training, she intends to communicate her research in critical publications that highlight natural antimicrobial drugs that could fight antibiotic resistance. She also aims to facilitate sustainable knowledge and technology, and the transfer of experiences and collaborations to bridge the gap of research capacity in antimicrobial resistance research among African early career scientists.

“Harnessing naturally derived drugs could hold the potential to arrest antimicrobial resistance mechanisms in pathogenic microbes.”