Northwest Community College

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Wednesday December 06, 2017

Student Researchers at Northwestern Connecticut Community College Tackle Antibiotic Resistance

WINSTED, CT – November 30, 2017 - Students at Northwestern Connecticut Community College participated in two innovative research programs that address the growing concern over antibiotic resistance.   This is the third year that students at NCCC have been part of The Small World Initiative (SWI) (www.smallworldinitiative.org).

Students in Sharon Gusky’s General Biology course hunted for new antibiotics to help combat the increasing problems of antibiotic resistance. Nearly 700,000 people die from antibiotic resistant infections worldwide each year and this number may rise to 10 million by 2050. The students collected soil samples, isolated diverse bacteria, tested their bacteria against clinically-relevant microorganisms, and characterized those showing inhibitory activity. The student data will be entered into the SWI national data base.   

The students in Gusky’s Microbiology class have been working on the Prevalence of Antibiotic Resistance in the Environment (PARE) project (http://sites.tufts.edu/ctse/projects/pare/) with scientists from Tufts University.  Microbiology students collected soil samples, processed them and determined the relative number of bacteria resistant to antibiotics per gram of soil. Their data has been entered into a national database, which monitors antibiotic resistant hotspots.

Four students, Caitlin Baker, Leeanne Marvin, Jaclyn Boutin and Tristan Courtemanche presented their work at the Connecticut Association of Biology Teachers’ Fall Symposium at Jackson Laboratory in Farmington, Connecticut on November 17

NCCC students will be sharing the results of their projects on December 6, from 11:30 am-1pm in the Art and Science Building (ASB). Students, faculty, staff and the public are invited to attend and to talk with the student researchers about antibiotic resistance and to view their posters.

For more information, contact Professor Sharon Gusky at: sgusky@nwcc.edu.

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