The Microbiology Society Annual Conference 2018 will take place over four days between Tuesday 10 April and Friday 13 April and will be held at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Birmingham, UK.

The Society’s Annual Conference attracts over 1,400 attendees for the UK’s largest annual gathering of microbiologists and you can see what took place at our 2017 conference on YouTube.

If you have any questions please email us at [email protected].

To get the latest news and updates, follow us on Twitter @MicrobioSoc using the hashtag #Microbio18, and like our Facebook page.

Main symposia
  • Microbial metal homeostasis: impacts on pathogenicity
  • The games microbes play: competition, conflict and cooperation in microbiology
  • Cool tools for microbial imaging
  • Emerging model systems
  • The magic of mushrooms in nature and industry
  • Models for understanding host–pathogen interactions
  • Synthetic Ecology: from understanding ecological interactions to designing functional microbial communities
  • Community interactions and the living host
  • Escherichia coli: The model microbe
  • Microbial diversity and interactions in the environment
  • Bacterial zoonoses: ecology, epidemiology and evolution
  • DNA repair
  • Breaking bad: factors affecting the commensal to pathogen switch
  • The global virome – the scope, causes and consequences of viral diversity
  • The battle for the ribosome – how viruses manipulate host translation
  • Teaching microbiology in Higher Education
  • Clinical Virology Network
Virus workshops
  • Clinical virology
  • DNA virus
  • Positive strand and double strand RNA viruses
  • Negative strand RNA viruses
  • Retroviruses
  • The scope, causes and consequences of viral diversity
Eukaryotic and prokaryotic forums
  • Microbial infection
  • Environmental and applied microbiology
  • Microbial physiology, metabolism and molecular biology
  • Genetics and genomics
Teaching microbiology in higher education symposium

This session is now fully booked.

The Professional Development Committee are delighted to present a symposium on teaching microbiology in higher education. This half-day interactive symposium will bring delegates together to discuss innovative teaching practices, including the opportunity to share lessons learned. There will also be a chance to discuss the impact of the implementation of the Teaching Excellence Framework on lecturers, and also HEA fellowship and degree accreditation. This will be a great opportunity for those teaching in higher education environments to come together to share best practices and form a network to learn from each other.

This session will take place on 9 April 2018 at the ICC Birmingham. Limited tickets are available, and are priced at £10 as a contribution to refreshments. Further details about this symposium will follow in due course.

You can find out more about this symposium by downloading the leaflet below:

Teaching microbiology in higher education

Image: ICC Birmingham.





Session View

Wednesday 11 April, Morning

Microbial metal homeostasis: impacts on pathogenicity

The capacity of pathogenic micro-organisms to adapt to changes in environmental metal availability is critical for pathogenicity. Certain inorganic trace elements, including iron, zinc and copper, are essential for life, but can also be toxic. The mammalian immune system has harnessed both the essentiality and toxicity of these micronutrients to combat microbial infections: processes known as “nutritional immunity”. For example, the vast majority of iron and zinc in the human body is tightly bound and compartmentalised, and nutritional restriction increases further during inflammation. Microbial pathogens require micronutrients not only for basic physiology and proliferation, but for counteracting other arms of immunity. For example, both catalases and superoxide dismutases require metal cofactors for function. In contrast, certain immune phagocytes flood their phagosomes with potentially lethal levels of copper. Therefore, in order to survive and proliferate within a mammalian host, microbial pathogens must possess highly efficient metal homeostatic mechanisms. Recently, significant advances have been made in our understanding of how microbial pathogens fine-tune cellular metal homeostasis in order to deal with the challenging environments faced during infection. This session will cover the molecular mechanisms of microbial metal homeostasis and how these processes contribute to pathogenicity and virulence. “Microbial metal homeostasis: impacts on pathogenicity” covers a variety of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic pathogenic species and will therefore be of interest to bacteriologists and mycologists, as well as immunologists interested in the pathogenesis of microbial infections.


Duncan Wilson (University of Aberdeen, UK), Kevin Waldron (University of Newcastle, UK)

Abstracts & Posters


The posters at Annual Conference provide an excellent platform to showcase emerging scientific research related to the talks programmed during the day. The poster abstract book can be viewed and searched using the Find functionality (CTRL + F) and key words. Please note, no copies of this hard-copy brochure will be printed for this year’s event.

This document contains the full poster content as well as as poster numbers and presentation slots that have been allocated for this year’s conference.

Posters will be displayed in Hall 3 and the upper gallery within the main convention centre throughout the duration of the conference with presentations taking place during evenings and lunchtime on Friday. The space will be divided into four zones, which will be clearly marked with signage and will be grouped by session.

There will be a poster registration desk on-site for support throughout the event. This is located near the main registration area.

Annual Conference 2018 Abstract book

Poster prizes

There will be three poster prizes available to recognise the best poster presenters over the course of the entire Annual Conference. Please see below for details of each prize. All poster prize winners will be invited to present their poster again at the Society's Annual General Meeting in September 2018.

Microbiology Society Journals' 'Most Promising Science' Prize

All poster presenters will be considered for the Microbiology Society Journals' 'Most Promising Science Poster Prize’. Four prizes will be awarded to posters that present particularly compelling or novel research within the subject areas of the following Society journals: MicrobiologyJournal of General VirologyJournal of Medical Microbiology and Microbial Genomics. This prize will be judged by the Editors, with the winner receiving a small cash prize and certificate. For more information on the journals, visitwww.microbiologyresearch.org.

Early Career Microbiologists' Forum Poster Prize

All members of the Early Career Microbiologists' (ECM) Forum who are presenting posters will be considered for the ECM Forum Poster Prize. This prize will be judged by the Executive Committee and will recognise the most promising ECM presenters. The winners will receive a prize and certificate.

Please note, the deadline for joining the ECM Forum in order to be considered for the Early Career Microbiologists' Forum Poster Prize is 29 March 2018.

People's Choice Poster Prize

All poster presenters will be entered into the People's Choice Poster Prize, which will identify the three most popular posters presented during the Annual Conference. All delegates will be asked to choose their favourite three posters that they visited and submit these on the voting slip provided in their delegate bag. Winners will be notified by 25 May 2018.

Sir Howard Dalton Young Microbiologist of the Year Competition

Each year, the Young Microbiologist of the Year Competition recognises and rewards excellence in science communication by a Microbiology Society member who is a postgraduate student or postdoctoral researcher, having gained their PhD in the last two years.

During the Annual Conference, judges will be visiting posters and listening to offered orals by delegates who have entered the competition via the abstract submission. Finalists will be notified in early summer if they have been selected, and will be invited to give a 10-minute oral presentation (plus 5 minutes for questions) at the final at the Society’s Annual General Meeting in September 2018.

Online registration is now closed. You can register on site at the conference by visiting the onsite registration desk.

What's included in your registration fee?
  • Admission to all scientific sessions
  • Admission to lunchtime events
  • Full access to the trade exhibition
  • Full access to scientific poster sessions
  • Hot buffet lunch Tuesday to Friday
  • Tea and coffee breaks Tuesday to Friday
  • Two drinks during the drinks receptions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings
  • A delegate bag and Conference material
  • A Conference programme guide
  • Access to an online abstracts book
  • Certificate of Attendance
  • Access to CPD Points



Registration categories
(all rates are per day except where detailed)

Early bird rate
Extended until
Wednesday 14 March

Full price rate







Full Member



Full Concessionary Member



Honorary Members

Postgraduate Student Member



Undergraduate Student Member

Registration confirmation

Upon registration you should receive an automated confirmation email. Please contact [email protected] if after 24 hours this has not been received.

Visa applications

If you need a letter of invitation for a visa application, we will be happy to supply this after we have received full payment. To find out if you need a visa to visit the UK, please visit the UK visa and immigration website.

It is the policy of the Microbiology Society not to supply an invitation letter to any delegate without payment and we will not reply to any request from an unregistered delegate. When the delegate has paid, the Conference office will email back a confirmation/receipt letter and, upon request, a letter of invitation, which may be used to obtain the necessary visa.

Please note that all conference delegates are responsible for their own travel and visa arrangements; the Microbiology Society will not take any responsibility for travel or visa problems.

Payment information

All registration fees must be paid in full BEFORE arrival at the conference. Any outstanding registration fees must be paid before admittance will be granted to the conference.

Refunds are not provided, however substitutions of attendees can be made at any time by contacting [email protected].

The conference will be held at the Birmingham's International Conference Centre (ICC):

The International Convention Centre
Broad Street
B1 2EA

General enquiries: +44(0)121 644 5025
Email: [email protected]


By car

The ICC is located centrally in Birmingham city centre and is easily accessible by road from all over the UK. Visitors from any direction can travel in to Birmingham using many different routes connected to the following motorways: M1, M5, M6, M6 Toll, M40 and M42.

There is abundant, secure multi-storey parking available located within the Barclaycard Arena, which is just a short walk away from the ICC. Both the ICC and Barclaycard Arena are signposted on motorways and major roads and are marked on most road maps.

By air

Over 50 airlines operate scheduled and chartered services to and from Birmingham International Airport. The airport is just 8 miles from the city centre. From the airport, there is a free Air-Rail Link to Birmingham International railway station, where you can catch a 10-minute train ride to New Street Station in Birmingham City Centre.

The smaller East Midlands airport is 42 miles away. The closest London airport is London Luton, which is 92 miles away, and London Heathrow is 107 miles.

By rail

The ICC is served by the UK’s largest interchange rail station, Birmingham New Street, and the smaller Five Ways Station. Both stations are a short walk from the ICC and taxi ranks are situated close by. Birmingham New Street has direct and regular services to Birmingham International railway station which directly links to Birmingham International Airport and The NEC. It also has many direct services to London Euston, including a service that takes just 80 minutes and runs every 20 minutes.

Birmingham’s two other city centre train stations, Moor St and Snow Hill, are also within quick and easy access of the ICC and directly connected to London Marylebone or London Paddington via an hourly service.

Download maps for walking directions from the 3 main city centre train stations.

Information about train times and fares are available from the National Rail enquiries website.

Virgin Trains

Virgin trains offer discounted group travel for groups of between 3 and 9 passengers travelling together .  This currently stand at a 20% discount off Advance Fares booked through their website - for more information visit the group page of their website.


For information about travel by coach please visit the National Express website.

Car parking

The nearest car parks to the ICC are located at sister venue the Barclaycard Arena. The North car park is closest or alternatively simply follow the road around on to St Vincent Street for the West car park or carry on further around to Sheepcote Street for the South car park.

Current charges are from £2.30 for up to 2 hours to £8.00 for 24 hours. Payment can be made by coin or card at the Pay and Display machines or via the Parkmobile App. Full cark park charge details can be found here.

Alternative parking is located at Brindleyplace or Paradise Circus.

Accommodation & Facilities


Birmingham hosts a large number of events and activities within the city centre; therefore we highly recommend you secure your accommodation as soon as possible.

To aid you with this process, our booking agent Reservation Highway has secured a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets, at discounted rates.

Annual Conference 2018 hotel list

All accommodation can be booked online through Reservation Highway's website, or alternatively you can complete the offline booking form, which can be downloaded below:

Annual Conference 2018 accommodation booking form

For further information and booking, please contact Reservation Highway:

Phone: +44 (0)1423 525 577
Email: [email protected]


To ease your attendance at Conference, the Society strives to provide facilities on-site. A map of the ICC venue can be downloaded below:

ICC venue map


The Microbiology Society is delighted to announce that we have partnered with Nipperbout to offer a free crèche, which will run at the Annual Conference 2018. The crèche is open to the children of delegates registered to attend the Conference. Held in Executive rooms 1 and 2, the crèche will run as per the following schedule:

  • Tuesday 10 April: 08:45–13:15, then 13:45–18:30
  • Wednesday 11 April: 08:45–13:15, then 13:45–18:30
  • Thursday 12 April: 08:45–13:15, then 13:45–18:30
  • Friday 13 April: 08:45–12:30, then 13:00–17:00

The crèche is open to children aged 0 to 12 years.

Please note that the crèche will be closed for lunch and parents are responsible for providing food for their children. Lunch is not provided by the Society or the crèche as part of this offer. It is imperative that you collect your child/children at lunchtime as the staff require a half-hour break. Water and healthy snacks will be available during crèche hours.

In order to register for this service, click the button below and use the following login details:

Register for the crèche

Username: MAC100418
Password: MAC

Once you have entered the above details, you will be able to set up your own account to book your children in to the crèche.

If you have used this service before and already have an account, please log in using your existing account and request to register for the event using the code MAC100418.

Booking is a first come, first served basis. Confirmation of your booking will be sent prior to the Conference.

Please note that you are entering into an agreement with Nipperbout and not with the Microbiology Society.

Nipperbout is an award-winning event childcare company with over 25 years of experience. For more information, please visit Nipperbout's website. If you have any queries about this service or about registering for it, please contact [email protected].

Nursing room
Nursing room

The nursing room will be located in Hall 1 backstage room 4, for parents who need a private place to feed their children.


A cloakroom will be available for delegates. This is located in the foyer near Starbucks. The cost for use of the cloakroom is £1 per item.

Prayer room
Prayer room

A prayer room will be located on level 3, near Hall 11. This is free for delegates to use and is open to all faiths.

Grants & Professional Development


Society Conference Grants are available to support eligible members wishing to present at the Annual Conference. Support is also available for members requiring support for caring costs associated with conference attendance. Applications will open on 16 January for a two week period. Full information is available on the Society Conference Grant page. If you are a member who is not eligible for a Society Conference Grant, please apply via the Travel Grant scheme.

Early Career Microbiologists’ (ECM) Forum Co-chairing Scheme

The ECM Forum Co-chairing Scheme provides ECM Forum members with the opportunity to be involved in the chairing of scientific sessions at the Annual Conference. The Co-Chairs will not receive any monetary value in co-chairing and will not take the place of a session Chair, but will receive a fantastic professional development opportunity to learn about being a session chair from more experienced colleagues.

Applications for the Co-chairing scheme are now closed. All applications are under review by the Society's Divisions and successful Co-Chairs will be introduced to the relevant session Chair in February.

Co-Chairs will receive a letter of thanks from the ECM Forum Executive Committee confirming that they participated in the Co-Chairing Scheme, and will be recognised in the conference programme.

For questions about the ECM Forum Co-chairing Scheme, please contact [email protected].

Professional Development sessions

In addition to the scientific programme, the Society will be hosting a series of Essential Skills sessions for all delegates wishing to enhance their professional skills in microbiology. Please book your space when registering for the Annual Conference – spaces are limited and complimentary when registering for the day.

Please note, although registering your place for professional development sessions in advance is advised, the sessions will operate on a first come, first served basis. Please arrive with plenty of time to secure your place. Spaces will then be offered to other delegates.

Essential skills: Funders roundtable

Tuesday 10 April

A panel of representatives from funding bodies, including BBSRC, NERC, MRC and the Wellcome Trust, will provide key insight into their expectations for grant applications. This session is aimed at those who are planning to make an application for research funding, and therefore would be useful for those at the postdoctoral researcher stage and onwards.

This session is now fully booked.

Essential skills: Exploring data tools and resources at EMBL-EBI

Wednesday 11 April

This hands-on workshop will introduce you to the range of publicly accessible data resources and tool developed and maintained by EMBL-EBI. You will be shown how to explore the services available and how to quickly search for data of interest and gain some tips and best practice for managing your data and preparing it for submission.

Please note, delegates are asked to bring their own laptop or tablet.

This session is now fully booked.

Essential skills: Engaging in science policy

Thursday 12 April

This workshop will feature talks from Dr Sarah Bunn (Scientific Adviser, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology), James Tooze (Policy Officer, Campaign for Science and Engineering) and Dr Paul Richards (Policy Manager, Microbiology Society) about the role of research in parliament and government, and how microbiologists can engage with policy-making. Interactive sessions will enable participants to develop knowledge and skills to effectively communicate their science to policy-makers.

This session is now fully booked.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

The Annual Conference has been accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (category Professional activity), The Royal College of Pathologists (35 CPD credits), and the Royal Society of Biology (144 CPD credits).

Those wishing to claim CPD credits should sign a daily register held at the Professional Development information desk, which is located in the exhibition hall. Further information can be requested by email at [email protected].

Social Programme

We have now released additional tickets for the social programme events at Conference to enable you to book guest tickets and multiple tickets at the same time. Please bring with you your confirmation to gain entry. Non-conference attendees welcome.

There are still places are still available for the Pre-Conference networking workshop, please email [email protected] to make a booking.

Society quiz and games night
Date: Tuesday 10 April 
Time: 20:00-23:00
Book here 

Conference party - Bavarian night
Date: Thursday 12 April 
Time: 20:00-00:00
Book here 

Pre-Conference networking workshop

Date: Monday 9 April
Time: 18:00–20:00
Location: ICC, Hall 11
Price: £20

Attending your first conference? Maybe you’re travelling alone, daunted by the prospect of meeting new people, or maybe you’d just like to brush off your networking skills ready for a busy conference ahead. Whatever your reason for attending, the pre-Conference networking event is the place to be on the Monday before the Annual Conference.

You’ll get to know many other delegates while taking part in interactive games, and also have the chance to practice networking with senior members of the Society. Why not take the opportunity to gather up an audience for your presentation later in the week, and join us as we kick start the conference?

Drinks reception

Dates: Tuesday 10 April, Wednesday 11 April, Thursday 12 April
Time: 18:30–20:00
Location: ICC, Hall 3
Price: Included in registration fee

Each evening at conference we will be extending time to network with the conference speakers, session organisers and delegates at our drinks reception.

This will be your opportunity to socialise with your peers, view the posters on display and grab a drink using the vouchers that can be found inside your folded name badge.

There are two vouchers per person, and non-alcoholic drinks will also be available). 

Society quiz and games night

Date: Tuesday 10 April
Time: 20:00–23:00
Location: Shooters, 195–196 Broad Street, Birmingham, B15 1AY
Price: £22.50

The quiz and games night, taking place on Tuesday evening of the Annual Conference, will be held at Shooters – a venue less than a 10-minute walk from the ICC Birmingham.

Doors will open at 20:00, where you will be greeted with a welcome drink, followed by an American-style buffet from 20:15. The quiz itself will then start at 20:45. Make sure you get yourself onto a good team as prizes will be up for grabs! Tickets include a welcome drink, dinner and a drink voucher as well.

Once the quiz ends, don't let your competitive streak end – why not make use of the private games room and challenge your colleagues and friends to shuffleboard or pool?

Book here.

Conference party – Bavarian night

Date: Thursday 12 April
Time: 20:00–00:00
Location: The Bierkeller Bavarian Bar, 195–196 Broad Street, Birmingham, B15 1AY
Price: £30

Join us from 20:00 until midnight on Thursday night for a fantastic Oompah band show to celebrate the last night of the Annual Conference. The amazing Bavarian Stompers will put on an action-packed show with real German bierfest music, and lots of comedy and audience participation.

All of this will be accompanied by a Bavarian-style buffet dinner and refreshments.

Book here

Explore the city

Birmingham Brindleyplace

If you have some free time, Birmingham is a vibrant city with plenty to do and explore. Just seconds from the ICC, you can find Brindleyplace, which is full of restaurants and bars.

Birmingham also has museums, opera, theatre and art galleries. Insider tips on the areas can be found on the Visit Birmingham website.

Exhibition & Sponsorship

The exhibition is located in a high-traffic area, where all conference meals, coffee breaks and drinks receptions will be held, offering an excellent opportunity to showcase your products, interact with conference delegates and maximise leads.

Exhibitor stands are now sold out for Annual Conference 2018.

If you have missed out on this event, we have a number of additional Focused Meetings throughout the year, as well as our 2019 Annual Conference that you can exhibit or sponsor at.

If you require further information or would like to discuss how we can best fit in with your marketing plans, please contact [email protected].


Exhibitor PCR Biosystems Exhibitor Oxford Biosystems Sponsor-Constant-Systems-Ltd.jpg
Exhibitor-Q-Medical-Technologies.jpg Exhibitor-New-England-Biolabs.jpg Exhibitor frontiers
Exhibitor-Stratech.jpg Exhibitor Visit Belfast Exhibitor microbesNG
Exhibitor Aquila Biolabs Exhibitor Royal Society Publishing Exhibitor Apollo Scientific
Exhibitor labtech Exhibitor fluxion Exhibitor Bioline
Exhibitor Li-cor Exhibitor Takara Exhibitor Zymo
Exhibitor PHE Culture Collections Exhibitor NCIMB Exhibitor Unisense
Exhibitor Biolegio Exhibitor Randox Biosciences Sponsor Infectious Diseases Hub
Sponsor MERCK Exhibitor Applikon Exhibitor electrolab biotech
Exhibitor m2p labs    

Featured sponsor



Sponsor-Elsevier.jpg Sponsor microorganisms Sponsor fermentation
Sponsor IJMS e-life-sponsor.jpg FEMS

Working in collaboration

Collaboration UK CVN collaborator_ICTV.jpg

Exhibition and Sponsorship

You can choose from Gold, Silver and Bronze packages, or Pick and Mix options that can be tailored to your needs and your budget.

Detailed information about available exhibition packages can be found in the Exhibition and Sponsorship Pack, which can be downloaded below:

Annual Conference 2018 Exhibition and Sponsorship Pack

Exhibition floor plan

Download the floor plan here:

Annual Conference 2018 Floor Plan

Registration form

To book your exhibition or sponsorship place, please download the fillable registration form below and return the completed form to [email protected].

Annual Conference 2018 Exhibition and Sponsorship Form

Other sponsorship opportunities

We are able to offer bespoke sponsorship opportunities that can be found on page 7 of the Exhibition & Sponsorship Pack. Please contact us for further information.

If you are interested in exhibiting at Annual Conference 2018 or any of our other events, please contact [email protected].