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‘Drug Discovery’ Is The Focus of Next Peoples’ U. Session

These handsome beer chemistry pint glasses are among prizes awarded to lucky participants who engage in the livestream classes of the latest Peoples’ University series “Physical Science, The Joy of Discovery” presented online each week by the Ohio County Public Library. (Photo Provided)

WHEELING — The fourth class in the Ohio County Public Library’s new People’s University series “Physical Science, The Joy of Discovery” will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 4.

Participants will explore “Chemistry 2 — Drug Discovery: Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria” in the Week 4 class.

The instructor again will be Dr. Erin Duffy of Carb-X.

Given the increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, alongside the alarmingly low rate of newly approved antibiotics for clinical usage, society is on the verge of not having effective treatments for many common infectious diseases. This also impacts procedures we have grown to take for granted, like childbirth, joint replacements and chemotherapy.

Historically, antibiotic discovery has been crucial in outpacing resistance, there has only been one new class of antibiotics introduced in the last 30 years. At CARB-X, they are investing in innovative science to provide diagnostics, preventatives and treatments for infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

With more than 17 years of drug-discovery and problem-solving experience in the antibiotic arena, Duffy helped to build and sustain a team of researchers at Rib-X Pharmaceuticals (Melinta Therapeutics) that translated the company’s scientific platform into next-generation and novel antibiotics that target the ribosome. Prior to Rib-X, Duffy was the associate director of Innovative Discovery Technologies at Achillion Pharmaceuticals. She began her industrial career at Pfizer Central Research, in Groton, Conn. She earned a bachelor of science degree at Wheeling Jesuit College and her doctorate at Yale University. She is now chief of Research and Development at Carb-X, Boston University.

Duffy has added books to the library’s giveaway at the end of her program.

“These are great for the non-scientist!” she said.

The Ohio County Public Library in partnership with the Wheeling Academy of Law & Science (WALS) Foundation is offering the 31st entry in its People’s University series in this six-class online, livestream presentation.

“Physical Science, The Joy of Discovery” takes attendees on a journey through the philosophical and intellectual development of science as a method of accurately weighing evidence, eliminating bias, finding facts, and acquiring knowledge.

Classes in the series explore, in part, themes such science is not political; science is not magical; science is not faith or belief; science is not based on feelings; it’s not a conspiracy and has no hidden agenda. Science is the earnest pursuit of what is true in terms of the best available, logically generated evidence. Science recognizes that it’s OK to be wrong and to learn from it.

Later classes in the series will explore the history and fundamental building blocks of the pillars of physical science: chemistry and physics. Attendees will learn about what matter and energy are and what laws they obey. Additional classes will explore specific applications of chemistry, namely laser technology as well as combating multi-drug resistant bacteria through drug discovery.

Attendees who “like,” comment or ask a question during the live session will be eligible to win a door prize each time. This week, winner of the drawing at the end of the livestream claim a beer chemistry pint glass from Uncommon Goods.

All classes meet on Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m.

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