Observations BMJ Confidential

Laura Piddock: Fights antibiotic resistance

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h2471 (Published 14 May 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2471

Biography

Laura Piddock, 55, professor of microbiology at the University of Birmingham, researches the ways in which bacteria become resistant to antibiotics and campaigns for more research to avert a health crisis potentially greater than HIV and AIDS. She leads Antibiotic Action, an independent global initiative that urges major investment by countries and companies to find new treatments for bacterial infections before resistance to existing infections makes simple injuries a life threatening experience and operations such as hip replacements too hazardous to undertake. Her research focuses on bacterial efflux pumps, the transporter mechanisms used by cells to spit out antibiotics, and the biological effects of acquiring resistance.

What was your earliest ambition?

To be a ballerina. It was only when I didn’t get offered a place at the Royal Ballet School at age 11 that I looked at alternatives. I then decided to become a graphic designer, but my parents were unhappy with that career choice and at age 18 ushered me into science instead. Apparently I would have a far greater income from this …

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