Author(s): Siouxsie Wiles
In ten years' time, will antibiotics still work? Have we let bacteria get the upper hand in the evolutionary arms race?In the 1920s the discovery of the antibiotic penicillin started a golden age of medicine. However, experts warn that the end of that age may be just a decade away. In this BWB Text, microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles explores the looming crisis of antibiotic resistance and its threat to New Zealand. Wiles concludes that New Zealand must do more to protect the public from a future without antibiotics.
Dr Siouxsie Wiles has made a career of combining her twin passions of bioluminescence (think glow worms and fireflies) and infectious diseases. In a nutshell, Siouxsie and her team make nasty bacteria glow in the dark to better understand how they cause disease and to find new medicines.Siouxsie studied medical microbiology at the University of Edinburgh, UK and then did a PhD in microbiology at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Oxford. She spent several years working at Imperial College London where her research culminated in winning the inaugural UK National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research prize. In 2009, Siouxsie was awarded a Sir Charles Hercus Fellowship from the Health Research Council of New Zealand and relocated to the University of Auckland where she now heads up the Bioluminescent Superbugs Lab.Siouxsie has a keen interest in demystifying science for the public. She is a blogger, podcaster, artist, curator and media science commentator and has won numerous prizes for her efforts, including the Prime Minister's Science Media Communication Prize and the Royal Society of New Zealand Callaghan Medal. In 2016, Siouxsie was named a Blake Leader by the Sir Peter Blake Leadership Trust.