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Plasma Physics meets microbiology to fight infectious diseases

Posted on 7 April 2014

Dr Marjan van der Woude (Centre for Immunology and Infection) presented jointly with Dr Roddy Vann (Plasma Institute/Physics) at the York Philosophical Society their project on the use of plasma to combat infections.

Dr. Marjan van der Woude from the Center of Immunology and Infection (HYMS and Biology) teamed up with colleague Dr. Roddy Vann from the Plasma Institute (Physics) to give a presentation to the York Philosophical Society on April 6, 2014 on "PLASMA PHYSICS MEETS MICROBIOLOGY TO FIGHT INFECTIOUS DISEASES”. 

The presentation started with an overview of the burden on society of infectious diseases and the concerns on antimicrobial resistance.  Dr. Vann then took over and explained what plasma [the 4th state of matter] is, that we rely on it in many aspects of life, and gave interesting insights into how big machines are needed to study the atomic level events that underpin plasma and fusion.  They then explained the project they are working on together, which has received support from C2D2, and how they hope this may in the future benefit health care.  

The presentation also used  anecdotes of real life events from the presenters to provide the audience with insight into the challenges and rewards of  interdisciplinary working.  The presentation was followed by a broad range of questions from insightful queries into the science to concerns on the challenges that infectious diseases are presenting.   Angela Privat-Maldonado, the Wellcome Trust funded PhD student who generated the data and embodies the collaboration helped explain concepts, and kept the presenters honest!

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