Professor Julian Davies Lecture

Professor Julian Davies
Department of Microbiology & Immunology

will be addressing the Vancouver Institute on January 29, 2011 at 8:15 p.m., Lecture Hall No. 2 in the Woodward Instructional Resources Centre, University of British Columbia.


Are We Going Back to the Pre-antibiotic Era?


Dr. Davies’ studies on recombinant DNA technology in the early 1970s helped shape modern biotechnology. In the 1980s, he nurtured and led the outstanding scientific output from Biogen's European operation. It was at the Harvard Medical School that he made the seminal finding in 1973 that antibiotic resistance genes originated in actinomycetes and transferred horizontally through a chain of closely related organisms to pathogens. Antibiotic resistance genes were central to recombinant DNA technology, some of which Davies also pioneered. In 1992, he moved to Vancouver, where he became head of the microbiology department at UBC. Professor Davies laments the business of antibiotic drug discovery today. "They are making them and selling them," he says, "but they're not doing any research on them. I think it's creating a very serious problem in the infectious diseases world.”