Stuart B. Levy, M.D.


Stuart B. Levy. M.D. is featured in the SftPublic Spotlight video, The Widespread Resistance to Antibiotics recorded at Tufts University School of Medicine on August 13, 2013.

Dr. Levy is Distinguished Professor of Molecular Biology and Microbiology and of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine; Director of the Center for Adaptation Genetics and Drug Resistance; and President of the International Alliance for Prudent Use of Antibiotics. He is a past President of the American Society for Microbiology.

Dr. Stuart Levy was one of the first medical researchers to alert the scientific community and the public about the dangerous misuse and over-prescribing of antibiotics. For more than two decades he has raised awareness through his research and professional publications, his testimony before Congress, and his book for the general public, The Antibiotic Paradox.

Despite early warnings about potential antibiotic resistance from scientists who developed penicillin, antibiotics have been over-prescribed since they became available. Because bacteria are able to mutate rapidly to evade the effects of antibiotics, many bacterial diseases and infections now fail to respond to antibiotics. The threat extends to our food because livestock are given antibiotics to ensure rapid growth and weight gain. People ingest the antibiotics through meat. And because livestock waste from industrial farms penetrates soil and water, antibiotic residuals are pervasive in the environment.

Dr. Levy led the discovery of the first energy-dependent antibiotic efflux mechanism and efflux protein (for tetracyclines). He led the first, and perhaps only, prospective farm study showing that feed containing low-dose antibiotics led to the emergence of antibiotic resistance in animals and the farm family. He has published over 300 papers, edited four books and two special journal editions devoted to antibiotic use and resistance. His 1992 book, The Antibiotic Paradox: How Miracle Drugs Are Destroying the Miracle, now in its second edition, has been translated into four languages.

Dr. Levy received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania, completed his residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York and performed postdoctoral research at the National Institutes of Health. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, Infectious Disease Society of America, the American Academy of Microbiology and the Association for the Advancement of Science. He was Chairperson of the U.S. Fogarty Center study of "Antibiotic use and resistance worldwide" and helped write the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment report on antibiotic resistant bacteria. He consults for international and national organizations including the World Health Organization, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine, the U.S. FDA and U.S. EPA. In 1995 he received the Hoechst-Roussel Award for esteemed research in antimicrobial chemotherapy from the American Society for Microbiology and has been awarded honorary degrees from Wesleyan and Des Moines Universities.