Bengaluru: Tata Institute for Genetics and Society (TIGS), India organised an expert panel discussion on “The Next Steps in Tackling AMR” under their “Science Serving Society” knowledge initiative to spread awareness about this year’s World Antimicrobial Awareness Week slogan – “Antimicrobials: Handle with care”. TIGS is a Bengaluru based institution that is committed to making scientific advances in research on human health and agriculture, particularly to benefit India and the Indian population.
Antimicrobial Resistance is increasing at an alarming rate. There has been no breakthrough discovery on new classes of antibiotics in the past three decades, and it is projected that around 10 million deaths will be caused due to AMR by the year 2050 compared to 700,000 today. The current pandemic has also exacerbated this situation, as a diversion of resources towards tackling COVID-19 has led to a very real possibility that AMR could emerge as the next pandemic if left unchecked.
“TIGS started the “Science Serving Society” knowledge series with the aim of bridging conversations between experts in human health and agriculture and the community at large. By bringing together experts all over the world on a single platform, we want to prioritize the most pressing challenges that humanity faces today, such as AMR”, said Professor Suresh Subramani, Global Director at TIGS.
The following experts shared their thoughts and knowledge on AMR in this panel discussion:
● Dr Balaji Veeraraghavan, Professor, The Hilda Lazarus Core Research Chair, Department of Clinical Microbiology, CMC Vellore
● Dr Kamini Walia, Scientist ‘F’, Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance and Research Network, ICMR
● Dr Taslimarif Saiyed, CEO & Director, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms
● Dr Bipin Nair, Dean, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham & Visiting Professor, TIGS (Moderator)
The panel discussion began with Dr Bipin Nair setting the context on AMR raising concerns amidst a global pandemic, followed by the other experts weighing in on key aspects like:
● AMR in India: Magnitude of the problems and future trends
● Measures currently being advocated to reduce AMR by public health institutions and governments globally, and progress made so far
● Challenges posed by AMR and Indian innovations and efforts attempting to tackle AMR
The knowledge initiative concluded with a short Q&A round where the expert panelists answered some questions related to new technologies, good governance and policies, the COVID – 19 setback and way forward in tackling AMR.
Tata Institute for Genetics and Society (TIGS) arises out of a partnership between the Tata Trusts and the University of California, San Diego, works on areas that require immediate and synergistic efforts that are relevant to India. This is one more key investment made by the Tata Trusts, India’s oldest, non-sectarian, philanthropic organisation, which has for over 125 years pioneered such investments in education, infrastructure, healthcare, IT and other technologies with an aim to benefit Indian society. True to Tata Trusts’ philanthropic vision, research groups at TIGS are working on applying new tools and techniques in genetic engineering for improving health security and food security in India.