TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - University of Alabama biochemistry researchers are trying to figure out why certain bacteria in certain people don't respond to antibiotics the same way others do. New stats show more than 20,000 people die each year from bacteria that's resistant to antibiotics.
"Our area is more to focus on how do we make the therapies better so when the better diagnostics are there the right therapies will be there to solve the problem once it's identified," said UA biochemistry professor Dr. Jack Dunkle.
Students Josh Holiday and Sebastian Row are all too familiar with how some drugs don't work as effectively on some people -- they're close to patients who've been in the fight of their life against antibiotics resistant to bacteria.
"It's really alarming when you hear people going in and there on their third round of antibiotics well you have to go either with the one your allergic to or let the infection go," said Row.
"I've had some friends that had some bad allergic reactions to antibiotics where they broke out were aching for a while," said Holiday.
"Studies were doing will start to pave the way for scientists to identify molecules that can be combined with the current drugs and block the resistance proteins," said Dr. Dunkle.
When this happens Dr. Dunkle said the drug should do what it's supposed to and fight off illness. This study is planned to last three years