NMSU & NISE professor joins initiative to fight shortage of new antibiotics

New Mexico State University is joining the push to mitigate one of the most critical public health crises facing the world: antibiotic resistance. Dr. Lee Uranga, NMSU professor took part in a week-long training to become a partner instructor in the Tiny Earth network, a program founded by University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Jo Handelsman with a two-fold mission: to encourage students to pursue careers in science through real-world applicable laboratory and field research in introductory courses, and to address a worldwide health threat – the diminishing supply of effective antibiotics – by tapping into the collective power of many student researchers concurrently tackling the same challenge, living up to Tiny Earth’s motto, “studentsourcing antibiotic discovery.”

To achieve these goals, the initiative leverages a network of partner institutions where instructors learn the curriculum and integrate the research protocols in their lab-based courses at universities, colleges, and high schools. Tiny Earth’s student scientists, many of them experiencing the scientific method in action for the first time, hunt for novel antibiotic organisms in soil samples. It’s a global and growing network, the community of instructors now encompasses 19 countries and 44 US states plus Puerto Rico and Washington DC.

Dr. Uranga is part of the initiative’s commitment to engage schools, colleges, departments, and aspiring scientists across the country. From January 6-10, 2020, 25 instructors from institutions across the United States and Canada, and 6 instructors from 4 countries (Denmark, Italy, Mexico, and the Republic of Korea), attended an intensive five-day training at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Tiny Earth’s newest batch of partner instructors are an inspiring cohort of researchers and educators already bringing fresh ideas to Tiny Earth’s core mission of engaging undergraduate and high school students in real discovery,” says Tiny Earth Science and Training Director, Dr. Nichole Broderick.  Dr. Broderick is an Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut. 

Comments are closed.