In Europe, approaches to natural product discovery for drug development have largely focussed on microbial secondary metabolites. The plants, plant products and other natural materials used to treat infection in traditional and historical pharmacopeias represent a further potential database of antimicrobial compounds. Extensive efforts to mine traditional medicines from Asia, South America and the Indian subcontinent for novel compounds are being made by local microbiologists and chemists and have led to drug development (e.g. the antimalarial compound artemisinin from Artemisia spp., developed after study of a historical Chinese medical text).
A concerted effort to characterise, assess and exploit the extensive written and oral record of natural products used in pre-modern European medicine has not been made. This is despite the presence in pre-modern European medical texts of natural products known to be effective in vivo (e.g. Artemisia spp. were used to treat malaria in medieval England) or shown to possess antimicrobial and/or immunomodulatory qualities in vitro (e.g. Allium spp., Plantago spp., Urtica spp.) Given rising antimicrobial resistance and a stalled R&D pipeline for compounds to treat and prevent infection, a thorough scientific evaluation of European ethnopharmacology is overdue.
The main barrier to successful exploitation of the natural compounds database represented by traditional European medicine is the lack a cohesive network for researchers. This Focused Meeting will bring together researchers from diverse fields including microbiology, chemistry, botany and the history of medicine, along with industry contacts, to reveal the current “state of the art” of the field and define areas for collaboration, methods development and translational research.
This Focused Meeting will take place on 29 October at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.
Updates on this event can be found using the hashtag: #AMRmeds19
This is a pilot meeting to scope what is needed in order to build an effective research network. We anticipate that this network which will outlast the meeting, and we expect that outputs will be shared with the wider network you represent. The number of places at the meeting is limited by space and time to 40. Thus, please consider which members of your group will benefit the most by attending this meeting.
Bringing together researchers from diverse fields including microbiology, chemistry, botany and the history of medicine, along with industry contacts, this focused meeting aims to reveal the current ‘state-of-the-art' of the field and define areas for collaboration, methods development and translational research. As such, it will not comprise traditional research presentations but a mix of 5-minute introductory "flash" talks and structured round-table discussions to facilitate networking, collaboration, knowledge exchange and capacity building. Instead of submitting an abstract, we are asking potential attendees to tell us what they hope to get out of the meeting and out of the lasting network we hope to create.
We are now receiving proposals.Submit your proposal
The submission deadline is 5 August 2019.
Submissions should be made through the Oxford Abstracts system. Both members and non-members of the Microbiology Society are welcome to submit their research. Once submissions are closed, these will be reviewed by session chairs and scientific committee members and you will be informed of the outcome directly. By making a submission to this conference, you are indicating to the session organisers your commitment to attend the event.