Learn more about Microbes in Medicine: A Century of Microbiology at Trinity College Dublin

Posted on October 11, 2019   by Kaisa Berg

On 24–25 October, the Focused Meeting Microbes in Medicine: A Century of Microbiology at Trinity College Dublin is taking place at Trinity College Dublin. In this Q&A we share some more information about the event.

Roger Harris/SciencePhotoLibrary

What will this Focused Meeting cover?

The discipline of microbiology at Trinity College Dublin celebrates its centenary in 2019 and this meeting will mark the occasion by focusing attention on the significant contributions the College has made to microbial sciences. The meeting will be a celebration of microbiology with a focus on the theme of the meeting, microbes in medicine.

The meeting will bring together scientists and medical practitioners with an interest in pathogenic mechanisms and in the use of microbes and microbial products to treat and prevent diseases. Highlights of the meeting will include sessions on recent advances in the application of genomics to study antibiotic resistance and virulence in pathogens, persister cells, gene regulation in pathogens and microbial cells surfaces. The importance of the human microbiota and how it differs between healthy and diseased states will be explored.

Who organised the meeting?

This meeting is organised by Charles Dorman and Joan Geoghegan (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland) in collaboration with the Microbiology Society.

Charles Dorman is only the fifth person to hold the Professorship of Bacteriology and Preventive Medicine at Trinity College Dublin since its inauguration in 1919, which is now known as the Chair of Microbiology. Charles’ research aims to understand the mechanisms by which bacteria exploit variable DNA topology, nucleoid-associated proteins and conventional transcription factors, to coordinate gene expression within regulatory networks and hierarchies. His interest in the stochastic generation of physiological diversity in genetically homogeneous populations has parallels with the work of Joseph Bigger on the 'persister' phenomenon in antibiotic-treated bacterial cultures.

Dr Joan Geoghegan was appointed as Assistant Professor in Microbiology (Molecular Bacteriology) at Trinity College Dublin in 2012. During her PhD and postdoctoral training at Trinity College Dublin, and as visiting researcher at Texas A&M University, she developed expertise in using biochemical and biophysical approaches to dissect the molecular basis of the interactions between staphylococcal proteins and host molecules. Her current research focuses on identifying and characterising factors that contribute to the success of methicillin–resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) within diverse niches in the human body. Her group studies proteins in clinical MRSA strains that promote attachment to human cells and tissues, biofilm formation and bacterial survival in neutrophils and macrophages. The main aim of this research is ultimately to identify new targets for the treatment and prevention of MRSA infection.

Both Professor Charles Dorman and Dr Joan Geoghegan will also be presenting at the meeting.

Which invited speakers will be presenting at the meeting?

Ursula Bond (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)
Ursula Bond received a PhD from Washington University, St. Louis, and was an Anna Fuller post-doctoral fellow at Yale University before returning to Dublin to join the Microbiology Department at Trinity College Dublin. Her research group studies the genetic composition and evolution of Saccharomyces pastorianus.

Kevin Devine (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)
Kevin Devine graduated with a BSc (Hons) from University College Dublin and a PhD from Trinity College Dublin. He was appointed as Lecturer in Genetics (1987) and Professor of Microbial Molecular Genetics (2014) and was elected to Fellowship of Trinity College Dublin (1994) and to membership of the Royal Irish Academy (2013).

Gordon Dougan (University of Cambridge, UK)

Gordon Dougan, who is a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Cambridge, is an internationally recognised expert in vaccinology and microbial pathogenesis. He is a member of EMBO, a Fellow of the Royal Society and is currently working at the Wellcome Trust, advising them on vaccine strategy and innovations.

Stephen Gordon (University College Dublin, Ireland)
Stephen Gordon took up his current position at University College Dublin in 2008. His research focuses on understanding the molecular basis for virulence in mycobacterial pathogens and is funded by Science Foundation Ireland, the Department of Agriculture Food and Marine, Wellcome Trust, BBSRC and EU H2020.

Lindsay Hall (Quadram Institute, UK)
Lindsay Hall took up her first independent post as a Lecturer at the University of East Anglia, before moving to the Quadram Institute at the end of 2015 where she is now the Microbiome Group Leader working within the Gut Microbes and Health Strategic Programme.

Sophie Helaine (Harvard University, USA)
Sophie Helaine has been a Lister Research Prize fellow since 2017 and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Imperial College London. She recently took up a new position at Harvard Medical School, where she runs her research group.
Jay Hinton (University of Liverpool, UK)

Jay Hinton is Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis at the University of Liverpool, UK. In 2018, his team determined the role of a single noncoding nucleotide in the over-expression of a key virulence factor in African Salmonella. He was elected to membership of the European Academy of Microbiology in 2018.

Joe Keane (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)
Joe Keane is a Consultant Respiratory Physician at St James’s Hospital, Dublin, and Professor at Trinity College Dublin. He sees patients with suspected lung cancer for diagnosis and clinical staging as part of a multi-disciplinary team.
Carsten Kröger (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)
Carsten Kröger is an Assistant Professor in Microbiology at Trinity College Dublin. He leads a research group that studies gene regulation, RNA biology and antibiotic resistance in Salmonella enterica and Acinetobacter baumannii and teaches microbiology at Trinity College Dublin.
Jodi Lindsay (St George’s University of London, UK)
Jodi Lindsay is Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis at St George’s, University of London, and specialises in bacterial evolution, horizontal gene transfer, antimicrobial resistance and the population structure of Staphylococcus aureus and MRSA in humans and animals.
Paul O'Toole (University College Cork, Ireland)

Following industry and academic positions in Sweden, Canada, New Zealand and the US, Paul O’Toole is now Professor of Microbial Genomics at University College Cork, Ireland. His main research theme is the genomics of gastrointestinal bacteria in humans with emphasis on commensal species and host interaction.

Thomas Rogers (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)

Thomas Rogers is Professor and Head of Discipline of Clinical Microbiology at Trinity College Dublin (2004-) and Consultant Microbiologist at St James’s Hospital, Dublin, where he is also Clinical Director of the Irish Mycobacteria Reference Laboratory.

Liz Sockett (University of Nottingham, UK)

Liz Sockett is a bacteriologist who researches and teaches at Nottingham University. Liz is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and Fellow of the Royal Society. Her research group works on the predatory bacterium Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus with funding from Wellcome Trust, DARPA, BBSRC and Leverhulme Trust.

Sinéad Corr (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)
In 2015 Sinéad was appointed Assistant Professor in Microbiology, in the Department of Microbiology, Trinity College Dublin. Sinéad leads the Microbiome and Mucosal Immunity group, which researches the molecular mechanisms underpinning the crosstalk between the intestinal immune system and the gut microbiome, with a focus on microbiome-associated disorders like IBD.

Tim Foster (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)
Tim Foster graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 1969. After studying for a PhD in Microbiology in Bristol in 1972 he was appointed to a Junior Lecturership in Bacteriology at Trinity College Dublin. He was promoted to Full Professor in 1997 and retired in 2014. He studied Staphylococcus aureus for 30 years, focusing on using genetic and molecular techniques to analyse virulence.

You can read the full speaker profiles on the event page.

What guidance is available to those presenting their posters at the meeting?

Here are our top tips for poster presenters:

  1. Choose one key point to get across – don’t overcrowd the poster.
  2. Remember to check requirements from the conference organisers and your institution/funders, such as for branding, poster size, and poster orientation.
  3. Relax! Show visitors why you’re interested in your work.
  4. Memorise a quick introduction to help start conversations.
  5. Don’t be afraid of questions. Most people aren’t trying to catch you out and are genuinely interested in your work.

View the full guide on the event page.

To see an overview of the event programme and register your place, visit the event page.