Fighting Antibiotic Resistance: Fan Liu

Fighting Antibiotic Resistance: Fan Liu


In my work, I’m in a constant race against bacteria. Antibiotic resistance has become an increasingly challenging problem in the world. In the United States alone, every year, we have more than 2 million people that become seriously ill because of these infections. Bacteria are fascinating little creatures. They grow really really fast, and they are developing resistance at a much faster rate than we, as scientists, are making new antibiotics. I am trying to understand how bacteria became resistant in the first place. I’m using some of the newest technologies to predict how antibiotic resistance might develop in the future that will help us design better medicines against them. My mother is an electrical engineer and my grandmother is one of the first women to receive a master’s degree in engineering in China. Because I was surrounded by these powerful women as I was growing up, everything seemed natural to me. I never had doubts that women can pursue a career in science or engineering. It really motivates me to work on something that one day might make the world a better place and impact people’s lives. I think we were complacent at one point, but we’re picking up the pace again, and we’re reshifting our focus on the antibiotic research and we will be able to win the race, the ultimate survival race.

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