Gerry Wright-picture-2024 (1)

Gerard Wright – 2024 Killam Prize

Health Sciences

McMaster University

Gerard (Gerry) Wright is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University.

Wright is internationally renowned for his research on antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

His research on antibiotics, their function, resistance, and biosynthesis has produced numerous landmark studies. These studies have shaped the direction of thought and activity in his field, and are helping to save lives from the grave public health threat posed by AMR. He was the first to articulate the concept of a pan-bacterial ‘resistome’ encompassing the totality of antibiotic resistance elements in microbial communities, not just human pathogens.

Wright’s commitment to combatting AMR is evidenced by his pioneering research program. His work has advanced the global understanding of the origins and evolution of AMR and its impact on modern medicine, and his lab has developed an array of strategies to overcome resistance. Importantly, he has identified new antimicrobial leads, including inhibitors of AMR and new antibiotics, which highlights the life-saving implications of his research.

In addition to his leading science, Wright has become an international leader in AMR education, public policy, and generating research capacity. For example, he co-founded the Interdisciplinary Course in Antibiotic Resistance, which provides young researchers, clinicians, and policymakers from all over the world with an in-depth education in antibiotic resistance and discovery. Through more than 30 years of ground-breaking research, he has developed a body of work that has unequivocally informed the global response to drug-resistant infections.

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