I do what I do because I want a world where my family and friends do not risk death because they contract a bacteria infection. I want us to know as much as possible about antibiotic resistance so that we can stop its spread. As my family and friends get older, so their risk of serious side effects from infections increases, and so it is for this reason that I want my work to be useful in this regard. More than that, I have always wanted my work to be immediately useful.
People talk about ‘fundamental’ science and ‘applied’ science. The fundamental side of things is very academic, but is absolutely necessary to generate the knowledge that underpins much of how we understand the world, but ‘applied’ is where I work, which is where we take our fundamental data and apply it directly to real world problems; our lab actively tests new antibiotics, and searches for new ones; and my project is aimed at understand how long antibiotic resistance would persist in different environments, so people making decisions about which antibiotics are best to use, and when, are better informed.