Since the discovery of penicillin, antibiotics have successfully been used to treat bacterial infections. However, the overuse and misuse of antibiotics has led to an increase in bacterial resistance to antibiotics. In 2018, more than 25% of Canadian bacterial infections were resistant to commonly used antibiotics, and 14,000 Canadians died from these resistant infections
Carly Davis is an NRC co-op student specializing in molecular biology and genetics from the University of Alberta. During her 4-month term with our Human Health Therapeutics (HHT) Research Centre, she was able to apply her knowledge and interest in phage therapy research for multi-drug resistant pathogens.
Phages are viruses that exclusively attack bacteria, making them potentially life-saving when antibiotics fail. Phage therapy is a promising treatment, and Carly is dedicated to the challenge because her work has the potential to save lives.
"I hope to use my skills and expertise on a daily basis to help fight the alarming rise in antimicrobial resistance," Carly says.
While researching and leading a phage engineering project, she helped find, isolate and characterize specific phages for therapeutic use. She was able to learn from expert colleagues she collaborated with, and also contribute her own knowledge to the project.
According to Carly's supervisor and mentor, Dr. Danielle Peters of the infectious diseases team, "Carly was a great asset to the team due to her knowledge of novel bacteriophages and molecular biology—she was a pleasure to have in the lab."
Carly will continue her studies in Alberta before defending her thesis. She is proud that her important work could help shape phage therapy research in the future.