Young Polish scientists search for option to antibiotics

The work of a team of young, local scientists has attracted the attention of the National Geographic who wrote about this in a recent article.

The group, who are all from the Gdansk-Gdynia-Sopot Metropolitan Area, are working on an innovative method to help fight infections where antibiotics have failed.

The five, none of whom is older than eighteen years of age, are working under the direction of Professor Michal Obuchowski Ph.D., the Vice-Dean of the Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology at the University of Gdansk and Medical University of Gdansk. They have been working on a new form of therapy to help replace antibiotics in the treatment of chronic infections. Their aim is to modify the E. coli bacteria in order to generate biomolecules needed to destroy infection. The scientists began by developing biomolecules to fight Staphylococcus aureus and the project aims to create further biomolecules adapted to combat other diseases.

Each of the young scientists has already achieved notable success prior to working on this project. Marcin Pitek was a finalist in the 2012 Google Science Fair; Olga Grudniak is a laureate of the Adamed SmartUP program; Olgierd Kasprowicz was a finalist in the 2014 Young Physicists competition; Filip Krawczyk was one of the organisers of the 2015 TriMAT mathematical conference and Natalia Dziedzic has made noted contributions in the laboratory. The five all study at School Number 3 in Gdynia and their work is being supported with a grant from the Black Pearls fund.

The group’s work comes at a time when the World Health Organisation is warning about the growing resistance of pathogens to antibiotics and the search is on for new methods of treatments, just like those being created by the young team from the Metropolitan Area.

This piece is based upon an article in December’s National Geographic.