Dr Nicola Fawcett, an MRC Clinical Research Fellow, studies the effect of antibiotics on bacteria resistance: an worsening problem in bacteria causing serious infection, but also in the good bacteria in our gut. The gut microbiome forms a reservoir of resistance genes which can be transmitted between different species of bacteria - including disease-causing strains, causing them to become resistant too. It has been shown that resistance in the gut bacteria is associated with an increased likelihood of developing a resistant infection.
Modernising Medical Microbiology is working to find out more about bacteria and viruses in order to control and better manage them, ultimately improving people’s health. Using new technologies for reading the genetic code of microbes and in electronic information management, their work focuses on how infectious diseases are diagnosed, how infection is passed on, how we treat infections and how best to identify and control new outbreaks of infectious diseases.
Dr Nicola Fawcett has created art using a mixture of three common bacteria found in the human gut, and harvested from faecal samples. The gut bacteria are portrayed using organic, biological motifs to invoke the garden allegory of the gut bacteria, similar to the plants we live alongside - sometime friend, sometime adversary.
But while striking colours and plant-like shapes creates a kaleidoscopic tree-effect that looks beautiful, it also illustrates the increasing issue or antibiotic resistance.