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UD Professor Joins Initiative to Fight Shortage of New Antibiotics

University of Dubuque is joining the push to mitigate one of the most critical public health crises facing the world – antibiotic resistance – by participating in the Tiny Earth network.

Adam Kleinschmit, associate professor of biology, recently attended a week-long training to become a partner instructor in the Tiny Earth network. Founded by University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Jo Handelsman, Tiny Earth has a two-fold mission based upon its motto of “student sourcing antibiotic discovery.” The network encourages students to pursue careers in science through real-world applicable laboratory and field research in introductory courses. Tiny Earth also seeks to address a worldwide threat – the diminishing supply of effective antibiotics – by tapping into the collective power of many student researchers concurrently tackling the same challenge.

To achieve its mission, Tiny Earth leverages a network of partner institutions where instructors learn the curriculum and integrate the research protocols in their lab-based courses at universities, colleges, and high schools. Student scientists hunt for novel antibiotic organisms in soil samples. It’s a global network that encompasses 19 countries and 44 U.S. states plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.

Kleinschmit plans to integrate the Tiny Earth research curriculum this spring into the laboratory section of UD’s microbiology course.

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