Professor Direk Limmathurotsakul

Head of Microbiology, Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit

Direk is the Head of Microbiology at Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit  and Associate Professor at Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Thailand. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of his main research areas. Direk estimated that 19,122 in Thailand in 2010 represented excess mortality caused by AMR (eLIFE 2016). Together with Surveillance and Epidemiology of Drug-resistant Infections Consortium (SEDRIC), Direk showed that the global burdens of AMR estimated in previous studies are not comparable because of their different methodological approaches, assumptions, and data used to generate the estimates (LID 2019). 

Direk advocates the concept of ‘antibiotic footprint’ as a tool to communicate to the public the magnitude of antibiotic use in humans, animals and industry. Antibiotic footprint could be estimated by combining the total amount of antibiotics consumed by humans and animals in the country (JAC 2019). His team also developed an offline, open-access and easy-to-use application that allows a hospital to perform data analysis and generate AMR surveillance reports automatically and independently (JMIR 2020). To support communication with lay people and solve a problem of jargon surrounding AMR in local languages, Direk also initiated the AMR Dictionary (Wellcome Open Res 2021).