Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Penn State University

The department is committed to finding solutions to the problem of antibiotic resistance. You can view the research profiles of the department's faculty here.


Michael Graziano
Filmmaker

Michael founded small-r media in 2014. Prior to small-r, he was a partner at Uji Films where he created and helped create commissioned work for clients such as CNBC, ABC, The Tribune Company, WIRED, and more. He has also created original films such as: "Resistance" (Produced and Directed; 2014, 72 min); "Lunch Line" (Produced and Co-directed; 2011, 63 min); and "Young Arabs" (Produced and Co-directed; 2008, 25 min). Prior to co-founding Uji Films, he was a PhD Candidate and Teaching Fellow in film and media studies at Northwestern University. For his complete filmography, see here.


Michael Mwangi

Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Penn State University

Ph.D., Cornell University
Kravis Postdoctoral Fellow, Rockefeller University


Michael became involved with the documentary "Resistance" when he served on a panel of experts for a screening of the film in California. Working with the filmmaker Michael Graziano and Penn State's Unit of Alumni Relations and Development, he arranged for a screening of the film in Pennsylvania and also built this website with the hope of reaching a national and even global audience. His interest in antibiotic resistance began while studying under Eric Siggia and Alexander Tomasz at the Rockefeller University. He and his research group at Penn State focus on antibiotic resistance in various bacterial pathogens including MRSA and CRE. In particular, he is very interested in a variety of genetic mechanisms that generate resisters at frequencies high enough to compromise therapy. For a description of some of his better known work, see here.


Andrew Read

Evan Pugh Professor of Biology and Entomology
Director of Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics

Director of Center for Evolutionary Risk Analysis and Mitigation
Penn State University

D.Phil., Oxford University


Andrew’s research is aimed at determining what can be done to minimize the impact of pathogen and vector evolution on human health and well being. His research group investigates the pathogen adaptation prompted by medical and public health measures, most obviously drug and insecticide resistance, and also the evolution of virulence, infectiousness, and vaccine escape. He is particularly interested in the question of how best to treat patients so as to minimize resistance evolution. His group works mostly on malaria, myxoma viruses in rabbits, and cancer-causing viruses in chickens, with new work on hospital infections. Originally from New Zealand, Andrew did a D.Phil. in Evolutionary Biology at the University of Oxford, England (1985-9). He held various fellowships at Oxford and then at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, before becoming Chair of Natural History there, a Professorship established in 1767. He has taught ecology, evolution, microbiology, and statistics. He has authored more than 180 peer-review papers, 30 book chapters, and four edited volumes and has been awarded Fellowships from the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Institute of Advanced Studies in Berlin, and the American Academy of Microbiology. In 2007, he and his group moved to the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State, where he is the Evan Pugh Professor in Biology and Entomology and also Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics. He is leading Penn State’s recent (2015) initiative in Evolutionary Risk Analysis and Mitigation. His work is currently supported by the NIH, NSF, Gates Foundation, and the BBSRC (UK). For more information about his work, see here.