Notre Dame of Maryland University (NDMU) recently had the distinction of being honored as the first University in the State of Maryland to join the Small World Initiative (SWI). SWI gathers some of the world’s top universities that support and source the discovery of new antibiotics.
As a member of the SWI, NDMU acts as an advocate for long-term involvement in the sciences, allowing upper-level biology students to continue working on antibiotic-producing bacteria identified by undergraduates in the 200-level introductory microbiology classes. By joining the SWI, the University is addressing a worldwide health threat – the rise of antibiotic resistant infections – and is providing NDMU students with hands-on research needed for future professional careers in healthcare.
Assistant Professor of Biology, Dr. Jennifer Kerr is heading up NDMU’s SWI program. She is one of 22 new educators qualified to lead their university’s program around the globe. “There is a growing need to increase and prolong the involvement of women in science,” says Dr. Kerr. “We have a unique opportunity to influence the future NDMU student population to continue to work in science research either directly or indirectly.”
NDMU students have isolated microorganisms capable of producing antibiotics. Research will now shift to identifying and characterizing the antibiotic producing bacteria.