I’m Willem van Schaik, Director of the Institute of Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham. I study how microbes become resistant to drugs. Ask me anything!
Hi Reddit, I’m Willem van Schaik, I am Director of the Institute of Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. My research focuses on how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics: not only is this a major threat to public health across the world, but I also find the biology of microbial drug resistance endlessly fascinating. I am particularly interested to understand how antibiotic resistance develops and spreads in complex microbial ecosystems, for example in the bacteria that populate our body (‘the human microbiome’). I am also fascinated by pandemics (past and ongoing).
I am happy to discuss anything related to microbes, e.g. how they evolve to become drug-resistant ‘superbugs’ and how microbes contribute to human health and disease. AMA!
Thank you for this AMA! I really enjoyed it, but now have to give my fingers some rest. I am saying goodbye for now, but will check back for questions later today and/or tomorrow.