ISU to host drug resistance institute

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Iowa State University will be home to a national institute on reducing the risk from antimicrobial resistance.

ISU and the University of Nebraska will together spend about $1.6 million in the next three years to support the Institute for Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education. Dr. Paul J. Plummer, executive director of the institute and an associate professor of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine at ISU, said the institute will be a stand-alone entity, intended to help researchers secure grants, find studies related to their own, and collaborate.

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges selected ISU among nine hosting bids. In 2015, a task force from those organizations published a report that described the need for research on antimicrobial resistance and called for creation of such an institute.

Dr. Plummer said building a national research network will involve building on ISU's regional network, the Antimicrobial Resistance Consortium. University information states that more than 60 investigators are part of the consortium's team combating the threat of antimicrobial resistance.

The institute likely will have at least two full-time employees and contributions from part-time employees, Dr. Plummer said. Forming the national network will involve attending and hosting meetings and reaching out to the other eight organizations that bid on hosting the institute.

And, he said, the institute will work with researchers and stakeholders in human, animal, and environmental fields.

An announcement from the APLU states that the institute will use a one-health approach in a comprehensive effort to combat the problem of antimicrobial resistance. In addition to ISU and the University of Nebraska, partners include the University of Iowa, Mayo Clinic, and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The institute will seek funding from federal, state, international, and nonprofit organizations, APLU information states.