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World-renowned expert to warn of 'gathering storm'

Published: 4 April 2023 at 16:15

Dame Sally Davies

Dame Sally Davies to talk about antimicrobial resistance and its threat to public health

The ‘gathering storm’ of antimicrobial resistance, which kills more than 700,000 people worldwide every year and is a growing problem, will be discussed by the UK’s former Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies at a free lecture at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU).

Antimicrobial resistance is when bacteria, viruses or fungi develop resistance to the antimicrobials used to treat them, and this can lead to common infections becoming untreatable. Left unchecked, antimicrobial resistance threatens to become one of the world’s biggest public health problems. The Wellcome Trust has called it a ‘slow-moving pandemic’.

Dame Sally is currently the UK Special Envoy for Antimicrobial Resistance and is a pioneer in bringing the issue to the attention of the world. She will speak on this subject at the annual Lord Ribeiro Lecture at ARU on Tuesday, 25 April.

Dame Sally is a tireless campaigner on the issue of antimicrobial resistance and the development of new antimicrobials, and her work led to the landmark Political Declaration on the subject, signed by 193 countries at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 2016.

After graduating in Medicine at the University of Manchester, Dame Sally became a consultant haematologist and in 1997 Professor of Haemoglobinopathies with special expertise in sickle cell disease. 

She joined the Civil Service in 2004, soon becoming Director-General of Research and Development. In 2006 she created the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). She went on to become Chief Scientific Adviser of the Department of Health and Social Care and in 2010 she was appointed Chief Medical Officer for England, a post she held until October 2019. She is now the 40th Master of Trinity College, Cambridge.

Dr Russell Cowan, Visiting Senior Clinical Fellow at ARU’s School of Medicine, said:

“Antimicrobial resistance is a growing problem that impacts potentially on us all, as we may never know when we might need life-saving antibiotic or anti-viral therapy only to find it does not work. It is a major public health concern that requires urgent action.

“We are privileged to welcome Dame Sally Davies to Anglia Ruskin University to give The Lord Ribeiro Lecture for 2023 on a subject in which she is deeply committed and extremely well informed.”

The talk, being held at ARU’s Chelmsford campus, will take place from 6pm until 8pm on Tuesday, 25 April. It is free to attend, but tickets must be booked at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dame-sally-davies-antimicrobial-resistance-the-gathering-storm-tickets-537131303187