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About

Our People

The IOI is a joint initiative, based in the Division of Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences (MPLS), and delivered through the Departments of Chemistry and Zoology. Leadership is provided by an Academic Management Committee (AMC), with research directed by co-Principal Investigators, Professor Tim Walsh (Biology) and Professor Chris Schofield FRS (Chemistry), and programmes in public engagement and policy led by Mr David Sweetnam (AMC Chair).

We deliver our work through extensive international collaboration among academic researchers, industry experts and professional advisers who are committed to advancing research and informing action that addresses the challenge of antimicrobial resistance.

We are just getting started and will share more details of our team as we grow our research. Please see our Jobs and Vacancies page for latest news of recruitment.

Core Team

Academic Management Committee (AMC)

Professor Christopher Schofield

Principal Investigator (Chemistry), Professor of Organic Chemistry

Chris Schofield is a Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He is a Fellow of Hertford College and was previously Head of Organic Chemistry.

He has researched in antibiotic mode of action, biosynthesis and resistance since the start of his career in Oxford. His research group aims to contribute to a chemical understanding of biological systems, where possible of medicinal or agricultural importance. His group has pioneered work on metal-using enzymes that are involved in antibiotic biosynthesis and resistance as well as in human physiology, in the latter case including in the hypoxic response. His work has opened up new therapeutic possibilities for the treatment of bacterial infections and diseases including anaemia. His work is highly collaborative as demonstrated by his work with the Innovative Medicines Initiative to combat resistance to the penicillin family antibiotics (ENABLE project).

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Professor Timothy Rutland Walsh

Principle Investigator (Zoology), Professor of Medical Microbiology

Professor Tim Walsh is Professor of Medical Microbiology in Oxford’s Department of Zoology, and has been studying AMR mechanisms for over 25 years, has published over 300 papers and publishes regularly in Nature and Lancet journals.

He is director of BARNARDS, the lead Gates Foundation project on AMR, examining the burden of neonatal sepsis in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Rwanda, South Africa, Nigeria (Abuja and Kano) and Ethiopia. This project enrolled 36,000 mothers and over 38,000 neonatal cases and identified risk factors for sepsis and carriage of AMR genes. Professor Walsh is also PI of DETER-XDR-CHINA, a study examining the spread and burden of AMR in public health sectors and hospitals in 30 provinces in China. He holds an honorary chair at the Chinese Agricultural University and was pivotal in the decision for the Chinese government to ban the use of colistin as a growth promoter on farms. He is also PI of COVID-AMR, a Wellcome Trust funded programme looking at the international impact of COVID on AMR. Walsh has nine active international projects with a focus on low-middle income countries. He is a member of WHO-STAG and the Fleming Fund expert advisory group.

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Mr David Sweetnam MBBS, FRCS (Orth), Dip Sports Med

Chair, Academic Management Committee, Consultant Orthopaedic & Trauma Surgeon

David Sweetnam comes from a family of surgeons, physicians and nurses, and he worked for over 30 years in the NHS as an Orthopaedic and Trauma surgeon.

Appointed in 1998 as a Consultant at one of London’s major teaching hospitals, including ten years as Head of Department, he has worked closely as a surgeon for the armed forces as well as an examiner for the Royal Colleges and Chairman of the Newman Foundation Charity.

His experience as a surgeon has driven him to recognise the need for urgent action against AMR, not least because all modern surgery is premised on the use of effective antibiotics. His family history of surgical practice over three generations has given him a unique perspective regarding the alarming reduction in the effectiveness of antibiotics since the inception of The NHS in 1948. The menace of resistant infections from ‘superbugs’ increases year on year and will only get worse if left unchecked.

It was through his peripheral role as surgical advisor to the Ineos sports portfolio that he first shared his insights on the urgency of acting on the AMR ‘silent pandemic’ with the Ineos board, which has ultimately led to the founding of the Ineos Oxford Institute for Antimicrobial Research.

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About the Institute