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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Welcome to the

Transforming The Way We Think

The Institute of Advanced Study is a prestigious, ideas-based Institute with global reach. We bring together world-leading researchers from all disciplines to work with Durham colleagues on collaborative projects of major intellectual, scientific, political and practical significance. At least twenty visiting IAS Fellows join us in Durham each year to work with Durham scholars to spark new investigations, set tomorrow's agenda and participate in a varied programme of activities.

Each year, the IAS supports four ambitious interdisciplinary projects tackling major research questions. Leading researchers from around the globe join Durham colleagues in collaborative teams to develop ground-breaking ideas, explore interdisciplinary synergies and develop new programmes of research.

The Institute also serves as a top-level forum, enabling key-decision makers and experts to discuss pressing policy problems in an intellectually stimulating and unrestricted manner. We put on a wide range of public lectures and other events. There are also opportunities for postgraduates and other early career researchers to get involved.

The IAS aims to build research capacity, realise potential, and meet the challenges of a changing world. There are many ways to participate in the life and work of the institute. We warmly welcome your involvement.

IAS Fellow's Public Lecture - Clay Minerals as Antibacterial Agents: Mechanisms and Applications

26th November 2019, 18:30 to 19:30, Kingsley Barrett Room, Calman Learning Centre, Professor Hailiang Dong (University of Miami)


Certain naturally present clay minerals are capable of killing antibiotic-resistant human pathogens and thus, these clays have been proposed as antibiotic alternatives. The specific mechanisms for such antibacterial activity of natural clays include: 1) generation of lethal reactive oxygen species (ROS) from soluble Fe2+; 2) Al toxicity. Both mechanisms require acidic pH to release Fe2+ and Al from clay mineral. Recently, studies have demonstrated generation of ROS from structural Fe(II) in clays, which attack specific proteins and cause cell death. This mechanism works at neutral pH and the clay can be re-cycled multiple times. Because of these properties, clay minerals may be useful as antibacterial agents in clinical applications. This lecture will talk about recent results in further improving the efficiency of the antibacterial activity towards a variety of human pathogens under realistic human skin conditions (neutral pH, salt concentration).

This lecture is free and open to all.

Details about Professor Hailiang Dong

Map – Calman Learning Centre is denoted as building No. 43

Contact for more information about this event.

IAS Contribution to the evaluation of interdisciplinary research in the REF

For a number of years the IAS has been closely involved in the development of methods of evaluating interdisciplinary research, working collaboratively with UK funding bodies/the REF. Its Executive Director, Professor Veronica Strang, is a member of the UKRI Interdisciplinary Advisory Panel, which is guiding this aspect of the REF process, and a regular speaker at the Annual REF Forum and related events. Her report Evaluating Interdisciplinary Research: a practical guide (Strang and McLeish 2015), written in consultation with a range of funding bodies, has been taken up widely, nationally and internationally. With the REF submission date coming up soon, colleagues who are considering interdisciplinary outputs for submission, or who will be involved in evaluating such research for REF sub-panels, may find this publication helpful.