More STEM talent needed to solve “enormous challenges” facing mankind

antibiotics“Enormous challenges” are facing mankind and more talent is needed in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) to address them according to Alison Holmes, Professor of Infectious Diseases and Director of Infection, Imperial College London.

Speaking at the WISE Conference 2015 at The Mermaid in Blackfriars last week, she said: “There are enormous challenges facing mankind that needs the best talent to sort it out.

“Anti-micro resistance is not just bacteria and viruses it about working on antibiotics and the need to treat infections. Making sure this generation has access to treatment and the next generation. It’s not just an academic issue – I don’t have to do my apocalyptic bit to say it’s affecting all countries, as we’re seeing it all the time in day jobs and surgeries. It’s about reducing the use of antibiotics when they’re not needed and finding new ways to get better resources in a better way. ”

Holmes said she works with a variety of academics and experts, which enables her to gain insight across a range of areas: “I have the opportunity to work with people from all disciplines and the opportunity to work with young people whose skills are beyond mine such as data handling, mathematics, geographers and environmental teams. Also we are surrounded by data at the NHS and we need talent people who can use that to targets our gaps and where we should be focusing our effects.

“There are hybrid careers available that would appeal to girls considering a career in STEM.”

This week marks the first World Antibiotic Awareness Week. The aim of the week is to increase awareness of antibiotic resistance and to encourage people to use antibiotics responsibly.

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