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Claas Kirchhelle Awarded Funding

How the Antibiotic Pipeline Ran Dry

UCD School of History is delighted to announce that a research consortium including UCD’s Dr Claas Kirchhelle has been awarded a highly competitive Norwegian Research Council grant of €1,360,000 for an international history of antibiotic research and development. Research clusters in Oslo, Copenhagen, Strasburg, Madrid, and Dublin will each explore how the antibiotic pipeline ran dry from the 1970s onwards. In addition to critically examining existing narratives of the dry pipeline, researchers will focus on how new genomic and IT technologies, business models, and social and gender dimensions of microbiological research impacted antibiotic development. At UCD, Kirchhelle’s cluster “Cultures & Codes” will employ a mix of historical and ethnographic approaches to understand  how:  (a) post-war ties between industry, science, and public health changed in the face of new biotech and venture capital actors employing targeted, sequence-based analysis and automated screening;  (b) how existing infrastructures like culture collections and laboratory networks evolved in the face of privatisation, patenting reforms, and new genomic and computerised technologies. DryAP will run between 2021 and 2025. For more information on the project and its aims see:  https://www.med.uio.no/helsam/english/research/projects/antibiotic- resistance-big-pharma/index.html