Ethan’s PhD in Antibiotic Discovery: Life as a UEA Postgraduate Research Student

Ethan’s PhD in Antibiotic Discovery: Life as a UEA Postgraduate Research Student


My name is Ethan Drury and I’m studying
– well the title of my research is Citizen Science and Antibiotic Discovery.
Our aim is to basically discover new antibiotics and at the same time involve the public and
engage the public in understanding the problem of antimicrobial resistance,
hopefully leading to change in their behaviour. So really it’s the idea that we
can reinvigorate this drug discovery pipeline in terms of discovering new
antibiotics which is obviously a big motivation for all of us at the moment
and also the idea that we could sort of show on a smaller scale that it is
possible to get the public on board and get them sort of agreeing with the idea
that we need to preserve current antimicrobials. I love the integrated nature of it,
especially the merge between microbiology and the Social Sciences, I
think it’s quite a novel thing and I love being able to pull on
different things from each discipline and using them really to make something
that hasn’t been done. So really for me it was going to
the forests and collecting the data and obviously when I say collecting I mean
having the public collect the data for us and seeing how engaged they get with
the project – I just find it absolutely amazing every time. You never really know what’s going to
happen next and although that can be sometimes something that makes you want to pull your hair out at the same time it’s something that really keeps me excited
and interested in what I do and I don’t think I’d change it for anything.

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