Antibiotic resistance is a growing threat to global health, it is predicted that by 2050 over 10 million deaths will be caused by drug-resistant infections every year.

Emily Freeman, an IOI PhD student working in the Schofield Lab, has developed a new school's workshop aiming to increase awareness of antibiotic resistance entitled ‘Bug Fight!’.

Bug Fight! introduces IOI ongoing research on combination therapies for drug-resistant infections. These are treatments that combine an antibiotic with a bacterial enzyme inhibitor which stops the bacteria from breaking down the antibiotic so it can successfully treat infections.

In collaboration with the University of Oxford Department of Chemistry Outreach team, Emily has worked with IOI chemists Helen Smith and Matthew Beech to design interactive experiments to immerse students in scientific research that mirrors research techniques used by the IOI.

Bug Fight! builds on GCSE Biology curriculum as well as linking work from GCSE Chemistry syllabus, highlighting that whilst school students are taught science as three distinct subjects, scientific research involves collaboration to find solutions.

The more people that know what antibiotic resistance is, the more people can take action. Whether this is taking your full course of antibiotics or one day becoming a researcher actively looking for solutions, we want to inspire the next generation to play an active role in combatting antibiotic resistance.


In recognition for her work on 'Bug Fight!', Emily received an honourable mention in the Outreach Category in the University of Oxford Doctoral Training Centre's 21st Anniversary Impact Awards. These awards aim to reward activities that support and promote engagement with an understanding of bioscience research.