The first IUMS Regional Course was offered in Singapore during June 14-16, 2010, and served microbiologists from the surrounding Asian countries. Singapore was chosen as the site, because of its proximity to the countries of Asia. IUMS made a contribution to the subsistence of the successful applicants as far as the finances allow. It is expected that this experience will boost the capability of the attendees in their microbiologic work after they return home, and we shall endeavour to forge a network of the attendees, so they can continue to communicate with each other and the instructors by e-mail.
In total 99 practicing scientists and clinicians from 9 countries participated at the course. Thirty of them are non-local. Full board and lodging was provided to all the overseas participants at the Prince George’s Park Residences in the National University of Singapore (NUS) campus. The course was held between the 14th and 16th June 2010, at Lecture Theatre 28 at the NUS. The organization of this first Regional course was under the excellent supervision of Prof. Yuan Kun Lee.
The course was successfully concluded on the 16th June and summary of the feedback from the participants is appended at the end (Appendix 2). Overall, 38.3% of respondents graded the course Excellent, 59.6% graded Good and 1.2% graded Fair.
The course was financially supported by the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the Singapore Society for Microbiology & Biotechnology (SSMB). Since the course coincided with IUMS EB meeting, IUMS covered the international travel of the faculty.
The topic of “Antimicrobial Resistance in Bacteria, Fungi, and Viruses” was selected for this first IUMS Course, since this is a prevalent problem of great importance that often compromises treatment of infections in this region of the world. In addition, the exploration of mechanisms of resistance to antimicrobial agents provides an engaging platform for the education of young scientists in microbiology, epidemiology, pharmacology, biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics. Furthermore, inquiry about resistance may inform the study of medical chemistry in the search for new agents to replace those that are failing as well as to develop medicinal strategies to overcome existing resistance.