Read our interview with Dr. Antonio Oliver, specialist in clinical microbiology and partner in the AmReSu project. Antonio’s main research interest includes investigating the mechanisms of adaptation and antimicrobial resistance in bacterial pathogens, with a particular focus on Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections and the development of novel strategies to combat them. In this interview he discusses his role within AmReSu and the importance of the work.

Can you introduce yourself and describe your role within AmReSu

My name is Antonio Oliver and I am head of the Microbiology Department at the Hospital Son Espases in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. I also head the Antimicrobial Resistance Group of the Research Institute of the Balearic Islands and coordinate work package four of the AmReSu project. Our part of the project revolves around antimicrobial resistance of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria and whole genome sequencing.

Can you describe the collaboration with the East-European partners?

One of our main tasks in the project is supporting the partners in Croatia and Hungary to acquire the skills necessary to perform high-level research on antimicrobial resistance. We organise talks, workshops and research exchanges in order for our partners to learn more about sequencing and analysing the genomes of resistant pathogens, particularly Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Why do you think it is important that you contribute to this project?

In addition to helping our partners, we are establishing a collaborative network in the field of antimicrobial resistance. The AmReSu project was the starting point and has become part of a larger network that we are building, which includes around 40 researchers across 17 European countries. It is EU-funded and supported by the JPIAMR, the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance. We want to include countries that already have expertise in antimicrobial resistance, as well as countries that are still gaining knowledge but have the potential to contribute. This way the network will consist of laboratories at different levels of development and expertise.

How did you collaborate with the laboratory in Antwerp?

I already knew many of the partners before the AmReSu project. For example, in the past we collaborated with Prof. Dr. Surbhi Malhotra and her team on the COMBACTE project as well as several others. Therefore, there was already a good working relationship established.

For more information on the AmReSu project, visit our projects page.

About Dr. Antonio Oliver

Dr. Antonio Oliver is Doctor in Pharmacy (Complutense University of Madrid) and Specialist in Clinical Microbiology (Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Madrid). Since 2002, Antonio is working as a Clinical Microbiologist in the Department of Microbiology at the Hospital Son Espases (former Hospital Son Dureta) in Palma de Mallorca. In 2019, he became head of the department. Since 2003, Antonio is associate professor of Microbiology at the University of the Balearic Islands and is the Principal Investigator of the Antimicrobial Resistance and Pathogenicity of Bacterial Infections Group from the Health Research Institute of the Balearic Islands (IdISBa). He is the subdirector of the Centers for Network Research in Infectious Diseases of Spain (CIBERINFEC) and an ESCMID fellow. Antonio’s research focusses on Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections and the development of novel strategies to combat them. Within this line of research, Antonio has published over 400 manuscripts in peer reviewed journals and participated in multiple EU initiatives such as AmReSu and COMBACTE.