A recent GW4 Climate and AMR Workshop united researchers to explore the nexus between climate change and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The workshop aimed to foster collaborations and research initiatives to address these pressing global challenges.
Prof. Lea Berrang Ford, Deputy Director and Head of the Centre for Climate and Health Security at the UK Health and Security Agency, delivered the keynote presentation and set the stage by highlighting the complex relationship between climate change and AMR. "There are a huge and diverse number of relationships between AMR and climate change and as two of the greatest health challenges this century, we need to explore how they intersect." Berrang Ford explained.
Representatives from the University of Bath, the University of Bristol, Cardiff University, and the University of Exeter highlighted their institutional initiatives in climate and health/planetary health research. These overviews showcased the collective strength of our GW4 institutions and how collaboration enhances their research efforts.
Prof. Eleonora Fichera showcased Bath's research initiatives, including Social Determinants of Health, Water Innovation, Climate Change transformations, Social Justice, Public Health, and Sustainability. Dr. Eunice Lo from Bristol emphasised the importance of collaboration between institutes and highlighted the cross-institute postgraduate research at the University. Dr. Joanne Lello from Cardiff University showcased their approach to Climate and AMR, exploring the development and spread of AMR resistance while taking a holistic approach through the Planetary Health Network. Prof. Will Gaze from the University of Exeter discussed research on the impact of biodiversity loss on AMR, highlighting the interconnectedness of climate change and AMR.
The presentations demonstrated how GW4 institutions are stronger together, leveraging their expertise and resources to tackle the complex challenges of climate change and AMR. By collaborating and sharing knowledge, significant progress can be made in addressing these global issues.
Following the presentations, participants engaged in three breakout sessions. "Connections in Context" allowed attendees to map research interests and strengths, focusing on the intersections between climate change and AMR. "Framing Research Collaborations" encouraged the creation of new research partnerships by addressing specific problems and prompts. In the final session, "Creating Communities," participants explored funding possibilities, community cohesion factors, and potential challenges to establishing future networks.
"The GW4 Climate and AMR Workshop was designed to bring investigators from diverse disciplines to come together and start conversations.” Dr Claire Spreadbury, GW4 AMR Alliance manager said. “Through interactive sessions, the workshop highlighted the benefit of networking and exploring problems together, strengthening our collective commitment to addressing climate change and AMR. This workshop exemplified the idea that together, as universities, we are stronger than the sum of our parts, paving the way for future joint efforts in tackling these converging global issues."
In line with GW4’s strategic vision, these workshops enhance research capabilities to address global challenges and create a nurturing environment for cultivating the researchers of tomorrow.