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SLAC Public Lecture: Chasing Super Bugs with Smarter Drug Design

Color-enhanced scanning electron micrograph showing Salmonella Typhimurium (red) invading cultured human cells Credit: Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH

Color-enhanced scanning electron micrograph showing Salmonella Typhimurium (red) invading cultured human cells
Credit: Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH

Lecture Date: Thursday, December 1, 2011. When our grandparents were young, there was no such thing as an antibiotic. Diseases like tuberculosis were invariably fatal. In the twentieth century, the fortuitous discoveries of penicillin from a mold and streptomycin from soil made a revolution in medicine. Today, we have even more powerful antibiotics, but also more powerful bugs evolving to outwit them.

The large pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars seeking new antibiotics through trial and error searches. Now, at SLAC’s X-ray source SSRL and other X-ray labs, we are learning to take the next step in drug discovery.

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is one of 10 Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science laboratories and is operated by Stanford University on behalf of the DOE.