Northeastern researcher Kim Lewis joins effort to accelerate discovery of new antibiotics

Northeastern researcher Kim Lewis is spearheading an effort to accelerate discovery of new antibiotics as part of a multi-institutional, federally funded project to tackle the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.

“It’s a big issue because we largely stopped introducing novel antibiotics about 50 years ago,” says Lewis, distinguished professor of biology and director of Northeastern’s Antimicrobial Discovery Center.

“Bacteria continue to acquire and spread resistance, which has led to the antimicrobial resistance crisis the World Health Organization calls a slow-moving pandemic” that contributes to nearly 5 million deaths a year, Lewis says.

The goal of the accelerated technology  is to use a high throughput approach and  microfluidics to hasten the discovery of novel antibiotics.

Lewis’ research is part of a $104 million federal contract led by Johan Paulsson of Harvard Medical School. The contract is funded through the newly established Advanced Research Projects for Health (ARPA-H).

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Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

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