Seminar: Explorations towards developing novel metal-based antimicrobial formulation

A didactic seminar for Health & Technology PhD students in years following the first. On October 14th Prof. Raymond J. Turner (University of Calgary) will be in Italy for an ISA lecture.

  • Date: 14 OCTOBER 2022  from 15:30 to 17:30

  • Event location: Viale Del Risorgimento 2 - Edificio storico di Ingegneria Room 0.1

Prof. Raymond J. Turner
Prof. Raymond J. Turner

Explorations towards developing novel metal-based antimicrobial formulations

Raymond J. Turner, PhD. Faculty Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) continues to evolve into one of the most significant public health threats facing the world today. The use of inorganics, particularly the coinage metals, of gold, silver, copper have been around since antiquity.  Now that we are in the AMR era, metal-based antimicrobials (MBAs) are being rediscovered for control of infectious diseases. My interest has been in metal/metalloid ion - microbe interactions for ~30 years.  There is considerable understanding now of the mechanisms of resistance of bacteria toward MBAs particularly growing as free-swimming planktonics. However, recently we are seeing a recognition that we need a more system biology viewpoint to understand the relationship of metal(loid) ions to microbes under both chronic and acute exposure. With this, we sought to answer the fundamental question – how do the sensitivity and tolerance mechanisms of different metals compare?  We have explored the efficacies of different metal(loid) ions and how they vary between bacterial species and clinical isolates.  With the information in hand, we recently focused towards finding synergistic mixtures of metal ions and novel formulations with antiseptics. We have also explored plant compounds and mixing them with metal synergistic mixtures have led to antimicrobial formulations with excellent prospects towards infection prevention and treatments.  Recognizing the AMR problem we also add evolved resistance experiments to only select those that will not develop resistance, which is possible because of the pleotropic antimicrobial targets of action.



Raymond J. Turner is a multi-ethnic multi-generational Canadian. Academic career began with a B.Sc. in Biochemistry / Chemistry followed by a Ph.D. (1990) in Biophysical Chemistry. Post-Doctoral training was obtained in Clinical Microbiology and Molecular Biochemistry. In 1998, was recruited to the University of Calgary and is presently appointed as Faculty Professor of Science.

Has held the post as Department Head and Graduate program director and chair of various research cluster units. He has also served on Dean’s and vice-presidents’ advisory committees.

Research funding from the Canadian funding councils of NSERC, CIHR, Genome Canada, and MITACS as well as a number of industrial partners.

He has received awards of excellence in research and excellence in graduate student supervision from the University of Calgary. Awarded the Western Universities Speaker Lectureship from the Canadian society of Chemistry in 2015.  Recent service activity is participating in a cross Canada MOOC for new professors to learn how to be better supervisors. He is also a lecturer for an international course on OneHealth approaches to AMR.

Research interests are multidisciplinary from metal ion interactions with bacteria, to biofilm physiology and biochemistry, to protein transporters and translocases This knowledge is applied to biotechnology approaches for Bioremediation, nanomaterials and antimicrobials.