North Carolina’s MARBIONC has recently submitted a proposal to Pepsi’s Refresh Project to help fund their work to discover new antibiotics against drug-resistant “superbugs”. The Pepsi Refresh grant will allow MARBIONC to explore the untapped biodiversity of marine micro-environments to isolate microbes that may produce antibiotic cures against this growing threat.
Drug resistant strains of bacteria and fungi or “superbugs” are on the rise, killing tens of thousands of people each year. There is a crucial need for new classes of antibiotics and a critical shortage of such new compounds in drug company pipelines. Some of the most important antibiotics we use today have been isolated from terrestrial microbes. MARBIONC’s plan is to collect new species of antibiotic producing microbes from unique marine environments known as frontier habitats. In the laboratory we will culture these new microbes and extract their antibiotic chemicals to use in drug testing against these lethal “superbugs”.