Cassandra Quave, an ethnobotanist at Emory University, searches for plants that may be used to treat life-threatening illnesses.
Her lab has discovered compounds—found in chestnuts, blackberries, and a host of other plants—that can help treat antimicrobial resistance by stopping bacteria from communicating with each other, adhering to our tissues, or producing toxins.
In her new memoir, The Plant Hunter, Quave discusses how a childhood staph infection and its lifelong complications motivated her deeply personal fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Quave appears on the Smarty Pants podcast this week to talk about how she has explored the rainforests of the Amazon, the mountains of Italy, Albania, and Kosovo, and the swamps of Florida for new treatments. Listen to the episode here ➢