Dr Jessica Blair

11 January 2018

QIB Lecture Theatre

Multidrug Efflux Systems: The Impact of Redundancy on Drug Design

Speaker:  Dr Jessica Blair, University of Birmingham, will present seminar entitled: Multidrug Efflux Systems: The Impact of Redundancy on Drug Design

Jessica Blair


Host: Mark Webber



Antibiotic resistance is a current global crisis. Multidrug resistant infections kill 700,000 people every year and this number is rising annually. One mechanism that Gram-negative bacteria employ to resist the action of antibiotics is via efflux pumps in their membrane. The RND family of efflux pumps transport molecules, including many antibiotics, out of the bacterial cell and can confer clinically relevant antibiotic resistance.

This talk will cover the contribution of these pumps to clinical resistance including our work showing that single point mutations within the pumps can alter the substrate specificity and directly impact the clinical outcome. RND efflux pumps such as AcrAB-TolC are required for antibiotic resistance, virulence and biofilm formation making them an attractive target for the design of inhibitors which would potentiate the use of existing antibiotics as well as attenuating virulence and inhibiting biofilm formation. However, Salmonella and all other Gram-negative bacteria, have multiple RND efflux pumps and there is promiscuity between components of these multi-component efflux pumps. The impact of this redundancy of the efficacy of potential inhibitors will be discussed along with the impact of efflux inhibition on the development of antibiotic resistance by other mechanisms.



Jessica Blair graduated from the University of Oxford in 2006 with a degree in Biological Sciences before coming to the University of Birmingham for her PhD, which she completed in 2009. Subsequently, Jess stayed in Birmingham where her post-doctoral research covered various aspects of antibiotic resistance.

Dr Blair was awarded a BBSRC David Phillip’s Fellowship in 2015 and now runs her own research group in the Institute of Microbiology and Infection.




All staff from organisations on the Research Park are welcome to attend.