<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=487936248064779&ev=PageView&noscript=1" />
Overview

The Microbiology Society will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2020.

To celebrate this milestone, the organisation's flagship Annual Conference will - for one time only - be extended to 5 days and will take place between Monday 30 March - Friday 3 April 2020.

This prestigious meeting will be held at Edinburgh International Convention Centre (EICC) in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, UK and will include an additional first day (Monday) dedicated to the theme of Fleming and includes a series of high-profile "Fleming Lectures". The Microbiology Society's Fleming Prize is awarded each year to an early career researcher who has achieved an outstanding research record within 12 years of being awarded their PhD. The Fleming Lectures will be used as an opportunity to formally observe the legacy of past Fleming Prize winners and to examine some of the most exciting science from around the globe. The day is organised by a Committee of Past Fleming Prize Winners, which is Chaired by Sir Paul Nurse and will be compered by academic, writer and television broadcaster, Professor Alice Roberts.

This will be followed by the standard 4-days (Tuesday - Friday) of scientific sessions. As ever, these sessions are designed to demonstrate the impact and potential of microbiology to address important global challenges.

Annual Conference 2020 is therefore designed to cover the breadth of microbiology research and its comprehensive scientific programme has over 30 sessions taking place over five days in a range of formats, including:

Symposia

  • Virus modulation of cell stress
  • Skin-full of viruses
  • Starve the (livestock) pathogen, feed the world
  • Outer layers of microbiology
  • Dyanamic cell
  • Exploring the eukaryotic tree of life
  • Back to the future
  • Marine microbiology
  • Bioproduction and biomaterials
  • Novel eukaryotic drug targets
  • AMR
  • The secret life of mobile genetic elements
  • Phage biology
  • Toxins and antitoxins
  • Bacteroidetes
  • Epigenetics
  • Public health microbiology
  • Bacteroidetes: the microbiota and beyond

Virology workshops

  • DNA viruses
  • Positive strand and double-stranded RNA viruses
  • Negative strand viruses
  • Retrorivuses
  • Clinical virology
  • Cell stress and viruses

Eukaryotic and prokaryotic forums

  • Environmental and applied microbiology forum
  • Genetics and genomics forum
  • Infection forum
  • Microbial physiology, metabolism and molecular biology forum

Microbiology Society sessions

  • Teaching in higher education
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Fellowship
  • Bioinformatics
  • Unconscious bias
  • A sustainable future: The role of microbiology in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

 

Programme

Type

Session

Session View

Monday 30 March, Morning

Fleming Showcase

In celebration of the Society’s 75th anniversary, Annual Conference will include an additional Fleming Showcase day at the start of Annual Conference week. The Microbiology Society’s Fleming Prize is awarded each year to an early career researcher who has achieved an outstanding research record within 12 years of being awarded their PhD. The Fleming Lectures will be used as an opportunity to formally observe the legacy of past Fleming Prize winners and to examine some of the most exciting science from around the globe. The day is organised by a Committee of Past Fleming Prize Winners, which is Chaired by Sir Paul Nurse and will be compèred by academic, writer and television broadcaster, Professor Alice Roberts. This will run on Monday 30 March 2020 and will be followed by the standard 4-days of scientific sessions.

Organisers

Organisers: Paul Nurse (Francis Crick Institute, UK); Tracy Palmer (University of Newcastle, UK); Andrew Davidson (University of Glasgow, UK); Sarah Coulthurst (University of Dundee, UK); David Grainger (University of Birmingham, UK)

Monday 30 March, Afternoon

Fleming Showcase

In celebration of the Society’s 75th anniversary, Annual Conference will include an additional Fleming Showcase day at the start of Annual Conference week. The Microbiology Society’s Fleming Prize is awarded each year to an early career researcher who has achieved an outstanding research record within 12 years of being awarded their PhD. The Fleming Lectures will be used as an opportunity to formally observe the legacy of past Fleming Prize winners and to examine some of the most exciting science from around the globe. The day is organised by a Committee of Past Fleming Prize Winners, which is Chaired by Sir Paul Nurse and will be compèred by academic, writer and television broadcaster, Professor Alice Roberts. This will run on Monday 30 March 2020 and will be followed by the standard 4-days of scientific sessions.

Organisers

Organisers: Paul Nurse (Francis Crick Institute, UK); Tracy Palmer (University of Newcastle, UK); Andrew Davidson (University of Glasgow, UK); Sarah Coulthurst (University of Dundee, UK); David Grainger (University of Birmingham, UK)

Tuesday 31 March, Morning

AMR

'The time may come when penicillin can be bought by anyone in the shops. There is a danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug making them resistant'. Since Alexander Fleming's prophetic warning in 1945, antimicrobial resistance has rapidly developed into a critically important global health threat. How bad is AMR, and what can we do about it? This session will start by looking at the global scale of the AMR problem, then delve into the causes of AMR, and finally address some of the potential solutions. The session aims to bring together scientists with interests in AMR, across the fields of epidemiology, global public health, mechanisms of AMR development and spread, antimicrobial stewardship and discovery of novel therapeutics.

Organisers

Jody Winter (Nottingham Trent University, UK), Meera Unnikrishnan (Warwick University, UK), Jennifer Ritchie (University of Surrey, UK)

Back to the future

This sessions follows the theme of the 75th anniversary meeting by looking at the past history of microbiology and how drawing from lessons of the past informs our research today. It will explore technologies today that are making use of techniques established decades ago, research that is delving into microbial archaeology to better understand pathogens of today and tomorrow, and investigations that are rediscovering and repurposing pharmaceuticals and treatments from previous eras.

Offered reflections on microbial practice in a specific area, application or technique are encouraged with a view to adoption of ‘historic’ ideas, or to highlight novel developments.

Organisers

Organisers: Edward Louis (University of Leicester, UK); Eilnor Thompson (University of Greenwich, UK) and Lori Snyder (Kingston University, UK)

Bacteroidetes: the microbiota and beyond

The Bacteroidetes are abundant colonisers of humans where they are one of the two dominant phyla. This session will focus on the many and varied interactions of the anaerobic Bacteroidetes with the human host, both as members of the normal resident microbiota and as opportunistic pathogens. Aspects of the physiology, metabolism and molecular genetics of Bacteroidetes, such as Bacteroides, Prevotella and Porphyromonas will be addressed along with potential cancer, Alzheimer’s and other disease associations. In addition to being of interest to researchers working on specific members of the Bacteroidetes, researchers studying oral, gastrointestinal tract and female genital system microbiomes will gain key insights into these important members of the microbiota. Offered papers relating to all aspects of the Bacteroidetes will be considered for presentation within the symposium.

Organisers

Organisers: Sheila Patrick (Queen's University Belfast, UK); Garry Blakely (Edinburgh University, UK)

Epigenetic phenomena in microorganisms

Over the last decade there have been an increasing number of reports of phenotypic changes in microorganisms that cannot be explained by changes in DNA sequence or genome rearrangements. These so-called epigenetic phenomena represent a number of different underlying mechanisms ranging from DNA modification and chromatin remodelling to inherited conformational changes in cellular proteins. These reversible molecular processes can impact on the expression of large numbers of genes and thus represent a means of rapidly changing the transcriptional programme of a microorganism without genome modification. This session will cover the wide range of epigenetic phenomena in bacteria, fungi and protozoa.

Organisers

Organisers: Mick Tuite (University of Kent, UK); Alessia Buscaino (University of Kent, UK)

Marine microbiology

Microbial life dominates the marine environment. Collectively their biomass greatly exceeds that of all other life forms in the oceans. Marine microbes have thrived in the world’s seas for billions of years and their diversity outweighs all non-microbial marine life combined. Microbes make the oceans work. They form and sustain global biogeochemical cycles, underpin food webs and maintain (or sometimes perturb) ecosystem health. Marine microbes are also a valuable source of biomolecules and enzymes, with great biotechnological potential. The session will bring together microbiologists from a range of fields with a collective interest in Marine Microbiology. The session will broadly cover three overarching themes; ‘marine microbial biogeochemistry’, ‘microbial symbiosis and interaction’, and ‘harnessing the potential of marine microbes’. As well as presentations from established research leaders in the field, the session will also showcase early career researchers.

Organisers

Organisers: Michael Cunliffe (Marine Biological Association, UK); Katherine Duncan (University of Strathclyde, UK); James McDonald (Bangor University, UK) and Katherine Helliwell (Marine Biological Association, UK)

Viruses that get under your skin – virus infections of skin and associated epithelia

The skin is the largest organ of the body. It possesses a complex architecture of differentiated layers of keratinocytes and immune cells, including Langerhans cells, macrophages and dendritic cells that together provide an efficient barrier to pathogens. Nonetheless, the skin remains the natural route of entry and/or site of replication for many viruses, some of which also depend on it for shedding. This symposium will focus on recent breakthroughs in our understanding of virus-host interactions in the skin and the underlying molecular mechanisms behind these. Topics will include virus replication in the skin; virus control of cell differentiation; virus induced cancers at these sites; and immune responses in the skin to insect-delivered viruses. Viral-host interactions at surfaces associated with the skin, such as oral epithelium and the reproductive tract will be included.

Organisers

Organisers: Gill Elliott (University of Surrey, UK); Christopher McCormick (University of Southampton, UK) and Gerald Barry (University College Dublin, Republic of Ireland)

Tuesday 31 March, Afternoon

AMR

'The time may come when penicillin can be bought by anyone in the shops. There is a danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug making them resistant'. Since Alexander Fleming's prophetic warning in 1945, antimicrobial resistance has rapidly developed into a critically important global health threat. How bad is AMR, and what can we do about it? This session will start by looking at the global scale of the AMR problem, then delve into the causes of AMR, and finally address some of the potential solutions. The session aims to bring together scientists with interests in AMR, across the fields of epidemiology, global public health, mechanisms of AMR development and spread, antimicrobial stewardship and discovery of novel therapeutics.

Organisers

Jody Winter (Nottingham Trent University, UK), Meera Unnikrishnan (Warwick University, UK), Jennifer Ritchie (University of Surrey, UK)

Back to the future

This sessions follows the theme of the 75th anniversary meeting by looking at the past history of microbiology and how drawing from lessons of the past informs our research today. It will explore technologies today that are making use of techniques established decades ago, research that is delving into microbial archaeology to better understand pathogens of today and tomorrow, and investigations that are rediscovering and repurposing pharmaceuticals and treatments from previous eras.

Offered reflections on microbial practice in a specific area, application or technique are encouraged with a view to adoption of ‘historic’ ideas, or to highlight novel developments.

Organisers

Organisers: Edward Louis (University of Leicester, UK); Eilnor Thompson (University of Greenwich, UK) and Lori Snyder (Kingston University, UK)

Bacteroidetes: the microbiota and beyond

The Bacteroidetes are abundant colonisers of humans where they are one of the two dominant phyla. This session will focus on the many and varied interactions of the anaerobic Bacteroidetes with the human host, both as members of the normal resident microbiota and as opportunistic pathogens. Aspects of the physiology, metabolism and molecular genetics of Bacteroidetes, such as Bacteroides, Prevotella and Porphyromonas will be addressed along with potential cancer, Alzheimer’s and other disease associations. In addition to being of interest to researchers working on specific members of the Bacteroidetes, researchers studying oral, gastrointestinal tract and female genital system microbiomes will gain key insights into these important members of the microbiota. Offered papers relating to all aspects of the Bacteroidetes will be considered for presentation within the symposium.

Organisers

Organisers: Sheila Patrick (Queen's University Belfast, UK); Garry Blakely (Edinburgh University, UK)

Epigenetic phenomena in microorganisms

Over the last decade there have been an increasing number of reports of phenotypic changes in microorganisms that cannot be explained by changes in DNA sequence or genome rearrangements. These so-called epigenetic phenomena represent a number of different underlying mechanisms ranging from DNA modification and chromatin remodelling to inherited conformational changes in cellular proteins. These reversible molecular processes can impact on the expression of large numbers of genes and thus represent a means of rapidly changing the transcriptional programme of a microorganism without genome modification. This session will cover the wide range of epigenetic phenomena in bacteria, fungi and protozoa.

Organisers

Organisers: Mick Tuite (University of Kent, UK); Alessia Buscaino (University of Kent, UK)

Marine microbiology

Microbial life dominates the marine environment. Collectively their biomass greatly exceeds that of all other life forms in the oceans. Marine microbes have thrived in the world’s seas for billions of years and their diversity outweighs all non-microbial marine life combined. Microbes make the oceans work. They form and sustain global biogeochemical cycles, underpin food webs and maintain (or sometimes perturb) ecosystem health. Marine microbes are also a valuable source of biomolecules and enzymes, with great biotechnological potential. The session will bring together microbiologists from a range of fields with a collective interest in Marine Microbiology. The session will broadly cover three overarching themes; ‘marine microbial biogeochemistry’, ‘microbial symbiosis and interaction’, and ‘harnessing the potential of marine microbes’. As well as presentations from established research leaders in the field, the session will also showcase early career researchers.

Organisers

Organisers: Michael Cunliffe (Marine Biological Association, UK); Katherine Duncan (University of Strathclyde, UK); James McDonald (Bangor University, UK) and Katherine Helliwell (Marine Biological Association, UK)

Viruses that get under your skin – virus infections of skin and associated epithelia

The skin is the largest organ of the body. It possesses a complex architecture of differentiated layers of keratinocytes and immune cells, including Langerhans cells, macrophages and dendritic cells that together provide an efficient barrier to pathogens. Nonetheless, the skin remains the natural route of entry and/or site of replication for many viruses, some of which also depend on it for shedding. This symposium will focus on recent breakthroughs in our understanding of virus-host interactions in the skin and the underlying molecular mechanisms behind these. Topics will include virus replication in the skin; virus control of cell differentiation; virus induced cancers at these sites; and immune responses in the skin to insect-delivered viruses. Viral-host interactions at surfaces associated with the skin, such as oral epithelium and the reproductive tract will be included.

Organisers

Organisers: Gill Elliott (University of Surrey, UK); Christopher McCormick (University of Southampton, UK) and Gerald Barry (University College Dublin, Republic of Ireland)

Wednesday 01 April, Morning

Marine microbiology

Microbial life dominates the marine environment. Collectively their biomass greatly exceeds that of all other life forms in the oceans. Marine microbes have thrived in the world’s seas for billions of years and their diversity outweighs all non-microbial marine life combined. Microbes make the oceans work. They form and sustain global biogeochemical cycles, underpin food webs and maintain (or sometimes perturb) ecosystem health. Marine microbes are also a valuable source of biomolecules and enzymes, with great biotechnological potential. The session will bring together microbiologists from a range of fields with a collective interest in Marine Microbiology. The session will broadly cover three overarching themes; ‘marine microbial biogeochemistry’, ‘microbial symbiosis and interaction’, and ‘harnessing the potential of marine microbes’. As well as presentations from established research leaders in the field, the session will also showcase early career researchers.

Organisers

Organisers: Michael Cunliffe (Marine Biological Association, UK); Katherine Duncan (University of Strathclyde, UK); James McDonald (Bangor University, UK) and Katherine Helliwell (Marine Biological Association, UK)

AMR

'The time may come when penicillin can be bought by anyone in the shops. There is a danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug making them resistant'. Since Alexander Fleming's prophetic warning in 1945, antimicrobial resistance has rapidly developed into a critically important global health threat. How bad is AMR, and what can we do about it? This session will start by looking at the global scale of the AMR problem, then delve into the causes of AMR, and finally address some of the potential solutions. The session aims to bring together scientists with interests in AMR, across the fields of epidemiology, global public health, mechanisms of AMR development and spread, antimicrobial stewardship and discovery of novel therapeutics.

Organisers

Jody Winter (Nottingham Trent University, UK), Meera Unnikrishnan (Warwick University, UK), Jennifer Ritchie (University of Surrey, UK)

Identifying novel eukaryotic drug targets and mechanisms of action

The ever-increasing drive to improve societal health has provided enormous advances in the medicinal treatment of diseases and conditions. At the heart of many of these advances is the identification and validation of new drugs – relating to both non-infectious and infection-related diseases. Past approaches in drug discovery were primarily based upon demonstrated efficacy in mammalian models. However, nowadays, the pharmaceutical industry requires a validated mechanism of action for new drugs to improve confidence in these products. Identifying these targets and mechanism in mammalian models is highly problematic due to the restricted nature of experimental approaches using mammalian cells, because of the complex nature and genetic redundancy of mammalian biology, and in the field of eukaryotic pathogen research these models are complicated by the high degree of homology between the host and the infection. To aid this research, Eukaryotic microbial models have been employed to in the field of drug discovery particularly relating to identifying targets and mechanism of action in both infection biology and in many other areas beyond this (i.e. identification of the mechanisms of action for novel anti-cancer or anti-epileptic drugs). This session will focus on the use of eukaryotic microbial models for the identification of drug targets and their respective mechanisms of action, ranging from the identification of novel therapeutics for the treatment both in infection and other disease paradigms. It will seek to cover a variety of eukaryotic systems, including yeast, fungi, social microbes and trypanosomes, looking at medical drug discovery and drug target research, in wide ranging fields of medicine.

Organisers

Robin Williams (Royal Holloway, UK) and Rebecca Hall (University of Birmingham, UK)

Microbial physiology, metabolism and molecular biology forum

This forum will consider offered papers on all aspects of microbial (prokaryotic and eukaryotic) metabolism and physiology, including fundamental research on the biochemistry and structure of cells, cell growth and division, cell architecture and differentiation, synthesis and transport of macromolecules, ions and small molecules and the cell cycle; but also on the role of physiology in microbial engineering, signalling and communication, sensing and cellular responses, the molecular mechanisms behind these phenomena and their potential applications

Organisers

Virology workshop: DNA viruses

This workshop will be structured around a typical life-cycle of DNA viruses and will cover virus entry and uncoating, genome replication, particle structure, assembly and egress. Pathogenesis will be covered to demonstrate the diversity of diseases that these viruses cause, together with the host response to infection, and vaccine or antiviral-based treatments or therapies that can be used to combat infection. Both human and animal pathogens will be covered, including the opportunity for clinicians to present studies on ongoing outbreaks or epidemiological studies.

Organisers

Organisers: Gill Elliott (University of Surrey, UK); Blair Strang (St George's, University of London, UK)

Virology workshop: Negative strand viruses

This workshop will be structured around a typical life-cycle of these viruses and will cover virus entry and uncoating, genome replication, particle structure, assembly and egress. Pathogenesis will be covered to demonstrate the diversity of diseases that these viruses cause, together with the host response to infection, and vaccine or antiviral-based treatments or therapies that can be used to combat infection. Both human and animal pathogens will be covered, including the opportunity for clinicians to present studies on ongoing outbreaks or epidemiological studies.

Organisers

Holly Shelton (Pirbright Institute, UK) and Martina Scallan (University College Cork, Ireland)

Virology workshop: Positive strand and double-strand RNA viruses

This workshop will be structured around a typical life-cycle of these viruses and will cover virus entry and uncoating, genome replication, particle structure, assembly and egress. Pathogenesis will be covered to demonstrate the diversity of diseases that these viruses cause, together with the host response to infection, and vaccine or antiviral-based treatments or therapies that can be used to combat infection. Both human and animal pathogens will be covered, including the opportunity for clinicians to present studies on ongoing outbreaks or epidemiological studies.

Organisers

Organisers: Steve Griffin, University of Leeds and Gerald Barry (University College Dublin, Ireland)

Virology workshop: Retroviruses

This workshop will be structured around a typical life-cycle of a retrovirus and will cover virus entry and uncoating, genome replication, particle structure, assembly and egress. Pathogenesis will be covered to demonstrate the diversity of diseases that these viruses cause, together with the host response to infection, and vaccine or antiviral-based treatments or therapies that can be used to combat infection. Both human and animal pathogens will be covered, including the opportunity for clinicians to present studies on ongoing outbreaks or epidemiological studies.

Organisers

Organisers: Rachael Tarlinton (University of Nottingham, UK) and Tamyo Mbisa (Public Health England, UK)

Wednesday 01 April, Afternoon

Genetics and genomics forum

Offered papers on all aspects of the genes and genomes of microbes (prokaryotes and eukaryotes) and their mobile elements will be considered, including their sequencing, transcription, translation, regulation, chromosome dynamics, gene transfer, population genetics and evolution, taxonomy and systematics, comparative genomics, metagenomics, bioinformatics, and synthetic biology.

Organisers

Identifying novel eukaryotic drug targets and mechanisms of action

The ever-increasing drive to improve societal health has provided enormous advances in the medicinal treatment of diseases and conditions. At the heart of many of these advances is the identification and validation of new drugs – relating to both non-infectious and infection-related diseases. Past approaches in drug discovery were primarily based upon demonstrated efficacy in mammalian models. However, nowadays, the pharmaceutical industry requires a validated mechanism of action for new drugs to improve confidence in these products. Identifying these targets and mechanism in mammalian models is highly problematic due to the restricted nature of experimental approaches using mammalian cells, because of the complex nature and genetic redundancy of mammalian biology, and in the field of eukaryotic pathogen research these models are complicated by the high degree of homology between the host and the infection. To aid this research, Eukaryotic microbial models have been employed to in the field of drug discovery particularly relating to identifying targets and mechanism of action in both infection biology and in many other areas beyond this (i.e. identification of the mechanisms of action for novel anti-cancer or anti-epileptic drugs). This session will focus on the use of eukaryotic microbial models for the identification of drug targets and their respective mechanisms of action, ranging from the identification of novel therapeutics for the treatment both in infection and other disease paradigms. It will seek to cover a variety of eukaryotic systems, including yeast, fungi, social microbes and trypanosomes, looking at medical drug discovery and drug target research, in wide ranging fields of medicine.

Organisers

Robin Williams (Royal Holloway, UK) and Rebecca Hall (University of Birmingham, UK)

Virology workshop: Cell stress and viruses

The synthesis of viral proteins and genome is dependent on gaining control of the host cell translation machinery, imposing major stress on the host. In response to this stress, infected cells can induce several defence mechanisms to promote cell survival, pathogen elimination or to restrict the use/availability of energy and nutrients. This session will bring together scientists interested in the multiple cellular stress responses triggered, and subsequently manipulated, by viruses. These responses include metabolic stress, pathogen sensing, autophagy, protein quality control, the DNA damage response, inflammation and stress granules. Many of these pathways are essential for the maintenance of the cellular proteostasis network and are intimately linked to antiviral defences. Therefore, this session will illustrate novel and elegant interactions viruses have evolved to manipulate these stress responses by hijacking, co-opting or inactivating their individual components. Through understanding of these interactions fundamental new insight into key biological processes is revealed. Furthermore, it has the potential to identify new opportunities for the development of novel therapeutic antiviral strategies. Thus, this session will be of broad appeal to virologists interested in a particular pathogen and the general process of pathogenesis, but also cell biologists or microbiologists with interest in specific cellular stress responses.

Organisers

Organisers: Matthew Reeves (University College London, UK), Nicolas Locker (University of Surrey, UK), Claire Shannon-Lowe (Universit of Birmingham, UK)

Virology workshop: Clinical Virology

This workshop will involve a range of clinical virology cases. Different aspects of clinical virology that will be covered include: differential diagnosis of encephalitis, management of hepatitis, diversity of rotavirus sequences, and diagnosis of respiratory infections.

Organisers

Tamyo Mbisa (Public Health England, UK) and Stephen Winchester (Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust)

Virology workshop: DNA viruses

This workshop will be structured around a typical life-cycle of DNA viruses and will cover virus entry and uncoating, genome replication, particle structure, assembly and egress. Pathogenesis will be covered to demonstrate the diversity of diseases that these viruses cause, together with the host response to infection, and vaccine or antiviral-based treatments or therapies that can be used to combat infection. Both human and animal pathogens will be covered, including the opportunity for clinicians to present studies on ongoing outbreaks or epidemiological studies.

Organisers

Organisers: Gill Elliott (University of Surrey, UK); Blair Strang (St George's, University of London, UK)

Virology workshop: Negative strand viruses

This workshop will be structured around a typical life-cycle of these viruses and will cover virus entry and uncoating, genome replication, particle structure, assembly and egress. Pathogenesis will be covered to demonstrate the diversity of diseases that these viruses cause, together with the host response to infection, and vaccine or antiviral-based treatments or therapies that can be used to combat infection. Both human and animal pathogens will be covered, including the opportunity for clinicians to present studies on ongoing outbreaks or epidemiological studies.

Organisers

Holly Shelton (Pirbright Institute, UK) and Martina Scallan (University College Cork, Ireland)

Virology workshop: Positive strand and double-strand RNA viruses

This workshop will be structured around a typical life-cycle of these viruses and will cover virus entry and uncoating, genome replication, particle structure, assembly and egress. Pathogenesis will be covered to demonstrate the diversity of diseases that these viruses cause, together with the host response to infection, and vaccine or antiviral-based treatments or therapies that can be used to combat infection. Both human and animal pathogens will be covered, including the opportunity for clinicians to present studies on ongoing outbreaks or epidemiological studies.

Organisers

Organisers: Steve Griffin, University of Leeds and Gerald Barry (University College Dublin, Ireland)

Thursday 02 April, Morning

Exploring the eukaryotic tree of life

This session, under the umbrella of Protistology-UK, will complement the new UK initiative “Darwin Tree of Life Project”, which aims to sequence and annotate the genomes of 66,000 UK species of animals, plants protists and fungi. This initiative is part of the “Earth BioGenome Project”, which targets to sequence all 1.5 million known eukaryotic species on earth. Protists and fungi are the main contributors to this list and we will explore their vast diversity, not only within the UK, but globally. Speakers will discuss which branches of the eukaryotic tree of life have been over/underestimated based on recent metagenomics data and which regions have been undersampled to explore and discover potentially new branches of the eukaryotic tree.

Organisers

Organisers: Anastasios Tsaousis (University of Kent, UK) and Sonja Rueckert (Edinburgh Napier University, UK)

Outer layers of microbiology

This session comprises current research on the microbial cell surface which is relevant to wider microbiology and indeed biology in general. As broad a range of topics as possible will be included, to encompass microbial outer layers and their roles in communication with neighbours and the environment, signal generation, receptors and sensing, evolutionary aspects, and the function of transporters and enzymes in the membrane or cell wall. We hope these will appeal to all interests, from basic science to biomedicine and biotechnology.

Organisers

Organisers: Elinor Thompson (University of Greenwich, UK) and John Morrissey (University College Cork, Republic of Ireland)

Starve the (livestock) pathogen, feed the world

With the United Nation's resolution to eliminate world hunger by 2030 and the globe's population heading toward nine billion, the agriculture industry will need to increase livestock production from the same, or less, land. Livestock is using most of the agricultural land (80% including grazing land and cropland for feed). Africa and Asia are the continents with the largest share of the world's uncultivated land, but attempts to develop and expand current capacity in order to meet the growing food demand are halted by deadly killers in the form of viruses, bacterial and protozoan parasites. This session focuses on neglected livestock diseases that have a large economic impact on poor livestock keepers in Africa and South Asia. We will showcase the latest develoments in basic and applied biology research in swine fever (V), animal trypanosomiasis (E), Brucellosis (P), pleuropneumonia (P), East Coast fever (E), fowlpox (V), Newcastle disease (V), pestes des petits ruminants (V), pocine cysticercosis (E), coccidiosis (E), Rift Valley fever (V), and sheep and goat pox (V). V=Virology; P=Prokaryotic; E=Eukaryotic.

Organisers

Catarina Gadelha (University of Nottingham, UK); Jenny Ritchie (University of Surrey, UK); Pip Beard (The Pirbright Institute, UK) and Sonja Rueckert (Edinburgh Napier University, UK)

The secret life of mobile genetic elements

Bacteria host a diverse range of mobile genetic elements (MGEs) — including plasmids, transposons, integrative-conjugative elements, and prophages — that make a significant impact on the lives of the bacteria they inhabit, and beyond. As vehicles of horizontal gene transfer, MGEs facilitate rapid adaptation, allowing microbes to colonize new environments, exemplified by the alarming spread of resistance genes between lineages [1]. Changes in MGE copy number can alter gene dosage, enhancing evolution through increased mutational supply [2], while changes to genome architecture or gene expression caused by MGE activity can result in large-scale phenotypic change [3,4]. MGEs interact with one another in multifarious ways both competitive and collaborative, affecting the success of the microbes that host them [5,6]. Meanwhile, the functions encoded by MGEs represent a powerful molecular toolkit which has been repurposed by microbes for various services including gene regulation and intraspecific competition [7,8].

Often the effects of MGE activity are considered in terms of the consequences for bacterial fitness, but as MGEs often control their own replication and/or transmission, they can have distinct fitness interests and evolutionary trajectories. This fact, combined with the increasing appreciation of the ubiquity, impact, and versatility of MGEs, makes it a prime time to take an ‘MGE-eye view’ of microbiology in a dedicated Annual Conference session. As far as I am aware, there have been no sessions explicitly looking at MGEs and their relationship with one another or with their hosts over the past 10 years. As MGEs impact almost all aspects of microbiology, from biotechnology to the environment to the clinic, and at scales ranging from interactions occurring within a cell to those that have ecosystem-wide effects, a specific session placing the focus on MGEs themselves — their ecology, evolution, and molecular interactions — will encourage audience members to identify common patterns across research areas and develop an integrated view of the far-reaching contribution MGEs make to microbiology.

Selected relevant references: [1] Weingarten et al. MBio (2018) doi: 10.1128/mBio.02011-17 [2] San Millan et al. Nat. Eco. Evo. (2016) doi: 10.1038/s41559-016-0010 [3] Neale et al. Mol. Micro. (2018) doi: 10.1111/mmi.14111 [4] Wang et al. Science (2015) doi: 10.1126/science.aaf7501 [5] Fillol-Salom et al. ISME (2018) doi: 10.1038/s41396-018-0156-3 [6] McKitterick et al. Nat. Comm. (2018) doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04786-5 [7] Hockett et al. MBio (2015) doi: 10.1128/mBio.00452-15 [8] Feiner et al. Nat. Rev. Micro. (2015) doi: 10.1038/nrmicro3527. "

Organisers

Organisers: Robert Fagan (University of Sheffield, UK); James Hall (University of Liverpool, UK)

Thriving under stress: manipulation of cellular responses by viruses

The synthesis of viral proteins and genome is dependent on gaining control of the host cell translation machinery, imposing major stress on the host. In response to this stress, infected cells can induce several defence mechanisms to promote cell survival, pathogen elimination or to restrict the use/availability of energy and nutrients. This session will bring together scientists interested in the multiple cellular stress responses triggered, and subsequently manipulated, by viruses. These responses include metabolic stress, pathogen sensing, autophagy, protein quality control, the DNA damage response, inflammation and stress granules. Many of these pathways are essential for the maintenance of the cellular proteostasis network and are intimately linked to antiviral defences. Therefore, this session will illustrate novel and elegant interactions viruses have evolved to manipulate these stress responses by hijacking, co-opting or inactivating their individual components. Through understanding of these interactions fundamental new insight into key biological processes is revealed. Furthermore, it has the potential to identify new opportunities for the development of novel therapeutic antiviral strategies. Thus, this session will be of broad appeal to virologists interested in a particular pathogen and the general process of pathogenesis, but also cell biologists or microbiologists with interest in specific cellular stress responses.

Organisers

Organisers: Nicolas Locker (University of Surrey, UK); Stephen Griffin (University of Leeds, UK); Matthew Reeves (UCL, UK); Claire Shannon-Lowe (University of Birmingham, UK)

Thursday 02 April, Afternoon

Exploring the eukaryotic tree of life

This session, under the umbrella of Protistology-UK, will complement the new UK initiative “Darwin Tree of Life Project”, which aims to sequence and annotate the genomes of 66,000 UK species of animals, plants protists and fungi. This initiative is part of the “Earth BioGenome Project”, which targets to sequence all 1.5 million known eukaryotic species on earth. Protists and fungi are the main contributors to this list and we will explore their vast diversity, not only within the UK, but globally. Speakers will discuss which branches of the eukaryotic tree of life have been over/underestimated based on recent metagenomics data and which regions have been undersampled to explore and discover potentially new branches of the eukaryotic tree.

Organisers

Organisers: Anastasios Tsaousis (University of Kent, UK) and Sonja Rueckert (Edinburgh Napier University, UK)

Outer layers of microbiology

This session comprises current research on the microbial cell surface which is relevant to wider microbiology and indeed biology in general. As broad a range of topics as possible will be included, to encompass microbial outer layers and their roles in communication with neighbours and the environment, signal generation, receptors and sensing, evolutionary aspects, and the function of transporters and enzymes in the membrane or cell wall. We hope these will appeal to all interests, from basic science to biomedicine and biotechnology.

Organisers

Organisers: Elinor Thompson (University of Greenwich, UK) and John Morrissey (University College Cork, Republic of Ireland)

Starve the (livestock) pathogen, feed the world

With the United Nation's resolution to eliminate world hunger by 2030 and the globe's population heading toward nine billion, the agriculture industry will need to increase livestock production from the same, or less, land. Livestock is using most of the agricultural land (80% including grazing land and cropland for feed). Africa and Asia are the continents with the largest share of the world's uncultivated land, but attempts to develop and expand current capacity in order to meet the growing food demand are halted by deadly killers in the form of viruses, bacterial and protozoan parasites. This session focuses on neglected livestock diseases that have a large economic impact on poor livestock keepers in Africa and South Asia. We will showcase the latest develoments in basic and applied biology research in swine fever (V), animal trypanosomiasis (E), Brucellosis (P), pleuropneumonia (P), East Coast fever (E), fowlpox (V), Newcastle disease (V), pestes des petits ruminants (V), pocine cysticercosis (E), coccidiosis (E), Rift Valley fever (V), and sheep and goat pox (V). V=Virology; P=Prokaryotic; E=Eukaryotic.

Organisers

Catarina Gadelha (University of Nottingham, UK); Jenny Ritchie (University of Surrey, UK); Pip Beard (The Pirbright Institute, UK) and Sonja Rueckert (Edinburgh Napier University, UK)

The secret life of mobile genetic elements

Bacteria host a diverse range of mobile genetic elements (MGEs) — including plasmids, transposons, integrative-conjugative elements, and prophages — that make a significant impact on the lives of the bacteria they inhabit, and beyond. As vehicles of horizontal gene transfer, MGEs facilitate rapid adaptation, allowing microbes to colonize new environments, exemplified by the alarming spread of resistance genes between lineages [1]. Changes in MGE copy number can alter gene dosage, enhancing evolution through increased mutational supply [2], while changes to genome architecture or gene expression caused by MGE activity can result in large-scale phenotypic change [3,4]. MGEs interact with one another in multifarious ways both competitive and collaborative, affecting the success of the microbes that host them [5,6]. Meanwhile, the functions encoded by MGEs represent a powerful molecular toolkit which has been repurposed by microbes for various services including gene regulation and intraspecific competition [7,8].

Often the effects of MGE activity are considered in terms of the consequences for bacterial fitness, but as MGEs often control their own replication and/or transmission, they can have distinct fitness interests and evolutionary trajectories. This fact, combined with the increasing appreciation of the ubiquity, impact, and versatility of MGEs, makes it a prime time to take an ‘MGE-eye view’ of microbiology in a dedicated Annual Conference session. As far as I am aware, there have been no sessions explicitly looking at MGEs and their relationship with one another or with their hosts over the past 10 years. As MGEs impact almost all aspects of microbiology, from biotechnology to the environment to the clinic, and at scales ranging from interactions occurring within a cell to those that have ecosystem-wide effects, a specific session placing the focus on MGEs themselves — their ecology, evolution, and molecular interactions — will encourage audience members to identify common patterns across research areas and develop an integrated view of the far-reaching contribution MGEs make to microbiology.

Selected relevant references: [1] Weingarten et al. MBio (2018) doi: 10.1128/mBio.02011-17 [2] San Millan et al. Nat. Eco. Evo. (2016) doi: 10.1038/s41559-016-0010 [3] Neale et al. Mol. Micro. (2018) doi: 10.1111/mmi.14111 [4] Wang et al. Science (2015) doi: 10.1126/science.aaf7501 [5] Fillol-Salom et al. ISME (2018) doi: 10.1038/s41396-018-0156-3 [6] McKitterick et al. Nat. Comm. (2018) doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04786-5 [7] Hockett et al. MBio (2015) doi: 10.1128/mBio.00452-15 [8] Feiner et al. Nat. Rev. Micro. (2015) doi: 10.1038/nrmicro3527. "

Organisers

Organisers: Robert Fagan (University of Sheffield, UK); James Hall (University of Liverpool, UK)

Thriving under stress: manipulation of cellular responses by viruses

The synthesis of viral proteins and genome is dependent on gaining control of the host cell translation machinery, imposing major stress on the host. In response to this stress, infected cells can induce several defence mechanisms to promote cell survival, pathogen elimination or to restrict the use/availability of energy and nutrients. This session will bring together scientists interested in the multiple cellular stress responses triggered, and subsequently manipulated, by viruses. These responses include metabolic stress, pathogen sensing, autophagy, protein quality control, the DNA damage response, inflammation and stress granules. Many of these pathways are essential for the maintenance of the cellular proteostasis network and are intimately linked to antiviral defences. Therefore, this session will illustrate novel and elegant interactions viruses have evolved to manipulate these stress responses by hijacking, co-opting or inactivating their individual components. Through understanding of these interactions fundamental new insight into key biological processes is revealed. Furthermore, it has the potential to identify new opportunities for the development of novel therapeutic antiviral strategies. Thus, this session will be of broad appeal to virologists interested in a particular pathogen and the general process of pathogenesis, but also cell biologists or microbiologists with interest in specific cellular stress responses.

Organisers

Organisers: Nicolas Locker (University of Surrey, UK); Stephen Griffin (University of Leeds, UK); Matthew Reeves (UCL, UK); Claire Shannon-Lowe (University of Birmingham, UK)

Friday 03 April, Morning

A sustainable future: The role of microbiology in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

As part of the 75th anniversary activities the Society are working on an ambitious policy project, ‘A Sustainable Future’. The project aims to raise the profile of microbiology in attaining the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and to raise the profile of SDGs within the microbiology community in UK and Ireland. This session focuses on discussions around what the project has discovered in terms of opportunities and challenges and how it intends to address these. It will also include examples of how microbiology interacts with policy and will include insights both from microbiologists and policymakers. The aim of the session is to raise the profile of the SDGs and the Society's policy work with its members. Delegates will be encouraged to think about how their work impacts on global challenges and will provide advice on how to go about influencing policy.

Organisers

Jack Doughty (Microbiology Society, UK)

Environmental and applied microbiology forum

This forum includes offered papers on any area and any organism relevant to environmental, ecological, applied and industrial microbiology, including (non-human) host–microbe communities and interactions, marine and freshwater microbiology, soil and geomicrobiology, air-, cryo- and extremophile microbiology, climate change, biotechnology, bio-processing and bio-engineering, food microbiology, and other applied and industrial microbial processes, including microbe-mediated biodegradation and bioremediation.

Organisers

Exploring the eukaryotic tree of life

This session, under the umbrella of Protistology-UK, will complement the new UK initiative “Darwin Tree of Life Project”, which aims to sequence and annotate the genomes of 66,000 UK species of animals, plants protists and fungi. This initiative is part of the “Earth BioGenome Project”, which targets to sequence all 1.5 million known eukaryotic species on earth. Protists and fungi are the main contributors to this list and we will explore their vast diversity, not only within the UK, but globally. Speakers will discuss which branches of the eukaryotic tree of life have been over/underestimated based on recent metagenomics data and which regions have been undersampled to explore and discover potentially new branches of the eukaryotic tree.

Organisers

Organisers: Anastasios Tsaousis (University of Kent, UK) and Sonja Rueckert (Edinburgh Napier University, UK)

Infection Forum

Offered papers will be presented in areas related to infections caused by prokaryote and eukaryote pathogens of human, veterinary or botanical significance including epidemiology, diagnosis, identification, typing, pathogenesis, treatment, antimicrobial agents and resistance, prevention, virulence factors, host responses and immunity, transmission, and models of infection at the cell, tissue or whole organism level.

Organisers

The dynamic (parasite) cell

Parasitic protozoa, like many eukaryotic cells, organise their molecules, structures and organelles into specialised microenvironments to accomplish particular cellular functions like energy production, cell division, nutrient update and secretion of communication signals. Parasitic microbes, however, have an extra level of constraint; they must perform these vital eukaryotic functions while the organism avoids elimination by defensive responses mounted by the host. The dynamic parasite cell session will provide a showcase for the latest cell biology research done in parasites, illustrate the use of dynamic methods to interrogate cellular function and explore mechanisms of parasite cell motility, endocytosis, metabolism, host interactions and all things cellular.

Organisers

Catarina Gadelha (University of Nottingham, UK)

Thriving under stress: manipulation of cellular responses by viruses

The synthesis of viral proteins and genome is dependent on gaining control of the host cell translation machinery, imposing major stress on the host. In response to this stress, infected cells can induce several defence mechanisms to promote cell survival, pathogen elimination or to restrict the use/availability of energy and nutrients. This session will bring together scientists interested in the multiple cellular stress responses triggered, and subsequently manipulated, by viruses. These responses include metabolic stress, pathogen sensing, autophagy, protein quality control, the DNA damage response, inflammation and stress granules. Many of these pathways are essential for the maintenance of the cellular proteostasis network and are intimately linked to antiviral defences. Therefore, this session will illustrate novel and elegant interactions viruses have evolved to manipulate these stress responses by hijacking, co-opting or inactivating their individual components. Through understanding of these interactions fundamental new insight into key biological processes is revealed. Furthermore, it has the potential to identify new opportunities for the development of novel therapeutic antiviral strategies. Thus, this session will be of broad appeal to virologists interested in a particular pathogen and the general process of pathogenesis, but also cell biologists or microbiologists with interest in specific cellular stress responses.

Organisers

Organisers: Nicolas Locker (University of Surrey, UK); Stephen Griffin (University of Leeds, UK); Matthew Reeves (UCL, UK); Claire Shannon-Lowe (University of Birmingham, UK)

Friday 03 April, Afternoon

Essential skills - Bioinformatics

This session, under the umbrella of Protistology-UK, will complement the new UK initiative “Darwin Tree of Life Project”, which aims to sequence and annotate the genomes of 66,000 UK species of animals, plants protists and fungi. This initiative is part of the “Earth BioGenome Project”, which targets to sequence all 1.5 million known eukaryotic species on earth. Protists and fungi are the main contributors to this list and we will explore their vast diversity, not only within the UK, but globally. Speakers will provide hands on bioinformatics training on which software can be used to annotate genes/proteins, but also investigate the relationships and the evolutionary history of microbial eukaryotes.

Organisers

Anastasios Tsaousis (University of Kent, UK) and Sonja Rueckert (Edinburgh Napier University, UK)

A sustainable future: The role of microbiology in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

As part of the 75th anniversary activities the Society are working on an ambitious policy project, ‘A Sustainable Future’. The project aims to raise the profile of microbiology in attaining the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and to raise the profile of SDGs within the microbiology community in UK and Ireland. This session focuses on discussions around what the project has discovered in terms of opportunities and challenges and how it intends to address these. It will also include examples of how microbiology interacts with policy and will include insights both from microbiologists and policymakers. The aim of the session is to raise the profile of the SDGs and the Society's policy work with its members. Delegates will be encouraged to think about how their work impacts on global challenges and will provide advice on how to go about influencing policy.

Organisers

Jack Doughty (Microbiology Society, UK)

Infection Forum

Offered papers will be presented in areas related to infections caused by prokaryote and eukaryote pathogens of human, veterinary or botanical significance including epidemiology, diagnosis, identification, typing, pathogenesis, treatment, antimicrobial agents and resistance, prevention, virulence factors, host responses and immunity, transmission, and models of infection at the cell, tissue or whole organism level.

Organisers

The dynamic (parasite) cell

Parasitic protozoa, like many eukaryotic cells, organise their molecules, structures and organelles into specialised microenvironments to accomplish particular cellular functions like energy production, cell division, nutrient update and secretion of communication signals. Parasitic microbes, however, have an extra level of constraint; they must perform these vital eukaryotic functions while the organism avoids elimination by defensive responses mounted by the host. The dynamic parasite cell session will provide a showcase for the latest cell biology research done in parasites, illustrate the use of dynamic methods to interrogate cellular function and explore mechanisms of parasite cell motility, endocytosis, metabolism, host interactions and all things cellular.

Organisers

Catarina Gadelha (University of Nottingham, UK)

Thriving under stress: manipulation of cellular responses by viruses

The synthesis of viral proteins and genome is dependent on gaining control of the host cell translation machinery, imposing major stress on the host. In response to this stress, infected cells can induce several defence mechanisms to promote cell survival, pathogen elimination or to restrict the use/availability of energy and nutrients. This session will bring together scientists interested in the multiple cellular stress responses triggered, and subsequently manipulated, by viruses. These responses include metabolic stress, pathogen sensing, autophagy, protein quality control, the DNA damage response, inflammation and stress granules. Many of these pathways are essential for the maintenance of the cellular proteostasis network and are intimately linked to antiviral defences. Therefore, this session will illustrate novel and elegant interactions viruses have evolved to manipulate these stress responses by hijacking, co-opting or inactivating their individual components. Through understanding of these interactions fundamental new insight into key biological processes is revealed. Furthermore, it has the potential to identify new opportunities for the development of novel therapeutic antiviral strategies. Thus, this session will be of broad appeal to virologists interested in a particular pathogen and the general process of pathogenesis, but also cell biologists or microbiologists with interest in specific cellular stress responses.

Organisers

Organisers: Nicolas Locker (University of Surrey, UK); Stephen Griffin (University of Leeds, UK); Matthew Reeves (UCL, UK); Claire Shannon-Lowe (University of Birmingham, UK)

Lecture View

Monday 30 March, Afternoon

Abstracts & Posters

Fleming – 5 minute thesis

We are launching a call for abstract submissions from final year PhD students (and those within one year of completion) to take part in a series of five minute thesis sessions at the Fleming Showcase event.

The Fleming event will be held on the first day (30 March 2020) of an extended 5-day Annual Conference 2020. The day will focus on the influence of both established and up-and-coming scientists in addressing global challenges and will offer an opportunity to hear the legacy of past Fleming Prize winners.

These sessions are an opportunity for the best early career microbiologists to present their work in front of world-leading scientists, including Sir Paul Nurse FRS.

The day will focus on the influence of both established and up-and-coming scientists in addressing global challenges and will offer an opportunity to hear the legacy of past Fleming Prize winners.

To get your science in front of world-leading scientists we invite final year PhD students, and those within one year of completion, to submit: 

  • A graphical abstract. Please send us an exciting image that conveys the story of your work
  • The three key findings of your PhD in single sentence bullet points
Submit your abstract


Submission deadline: 16 September 2019

Notifications of acceptances: w/c 7 October 2019

Abstracts

Annual Conference attracts over 1,600 attendees for the UK’s largest annual gathering of microbiologists. It is designed to cover the breadth of microbiology research and its oral abstracts and posters reflect this comprehensive scientific programme.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to showcase your microbiological work and research to this broad scientific community.

Annual Conference 2020 abstract submissions open w/c 19 August 2019.

Submissions close on 9 December 2019.

Notifications of acceptances will be made from 14 January 2020.

Posters

For abstracts that are awarded a poster, Annual Conference provides an excellent platform for emerging scientific research.

All posters in Edinburgh will be displayed within the same well-lit, high-traffic area within the convention centre, which offers an excellent opportunity to showcase your work and interact with delegates.

Posters will also be rotated half-way through the event to ensure relevance to the content of the day's live programmed sessions, which will be finalised later in the year.

Destination & Venue

Destination Edinburgh

A diverse and vibrant city, Edinburgh is steeped in history. As well as being the capital city of Scotland, it is the leading festival city in the world as well as a leading UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Full of cultural and historical sites to visit, Edinburgh has both a medieval Old Town and an elegant Georgian New Town and is situated around the terrain of the volcanic Arthur's Seat, the Pentland Hills and Edinburgh's Waterfront. 

Edinburgh is also globally recognised as a world-leading authority in the sciences and remains home to some of the leading centres of microbiological research in Europe. Current researchers follow in the footsteps of past scientists who have advanced medicine - from the discovery of chloroform anaesthesia and the development of the hypodermic syringe to the development of MRI scanner and insulin. Today, pioneering research is underway into regenerative medicine, in vitro imaging, bio-informatics, and cancer treatment, as well as food security and animal welfare. 

But Edinburgh's most famous scientist is arguably Alexander Fleming - a medical scientists who won the Nobel prize for his discovery of penicillin - and who was the first President of the Microbiology Society. To celebrate the Society's 75th Anniversary in 2020, Annual Conference is taking place in the city close to Fleming's heart and where he served as Rector of Edinburgh University.

EICC 

Annual Conference will take place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC).

Edinburgh International Conference Centre 
The Exchange 
Edinburgh 
EH3 8EE 
General enquiries: +44(0)131 300 3000

The award-winning EICC is a centre of excellence for world class events and conferences in the heart of Edinburgh.

EICC's impressive facilities include adaptable auditoria, break-out suites and spacious exhibition and reception areas, which will all be for the exclusive use of the Microbiology Society and its delegates during the week of Annual Conference 2020.

Sustainability

The EICC considers the environmental impacts affecting every procurement decision associated with the running of events.

Preference is given to products and services certified by recognised authorities such as Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), EMS ISO 14001, Eco Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS), Green Globe and other applicable sustainability standards.

All food is freshly prepared on the premises from seasonal ingredients sourced within 200 miles of Edinburgh. The catering team adheres to an environmentally-sound approach to the disposal of waste including food, packaging, cooking oils and liquids.

The EICC’s strategic direction is to build on its reputation as a 'green business' and to develop its reputation for best practice in sustainability. They aim to achieve 20% reduction of our overall CO2 per m2 by 2020 relative to 2013 baseline.

EICC won the coveted Sustainable Event Excellence Award in March 2018.

Crèche

The Society is again teaming up with Nipperbout to provide a free crèche at the Annual Conference 2020. The crèche will be available to all children of delegates between the ages of 0 to 12 years.

All registered delegates will be offered the opportunity to make use of these free childcare services, which will be offered on a first-come, first served basis.

Please note 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.

Accommodation & Travel

Annual Conference is returning to Edinburgh in 2020. This is Annual Conference's most popular destination city and the Society encourages all delegates to secure accommodation and to make travel plans as early as possible as hotel rooms fill-up quickly.

Accommodation 

To support you in securing your accommodation we provide links to our booking and accommodation services via Reservation Highway.

This travel and venue agency have secured negotiated rates at hotels to suit a broad range of budgets. 

Book Accommodation


A booking form is also available below for those who prefer not to book online.

If you require any further information for personal or group hotel bookings, please call 01423 525577 (during office hours) or email admin@reservation-highway.co.uk at any time.

Travel

Visitors to Scotland's capital are served with two major railway stations, an airport providing UK and international flights to Edinburgh and an extensive road network. 

By air 

Edinburgh International Airport is within 6 miles of the EICC. The Airlink 100 runs between Edinburgh Airport and the city centre every 10 minutes at peak times, with the journey taking 20 minutes. This service starts at 4:30 and runs until 00:22. Tickets cost £3.50 single and £6.00 return. Delegates are advised to disembark at Haymarket Railway Station and to follow signs for EICC on foot (5-minute walk). 
The N22 bus also departs from the Airport and runs every 30 minutes through the night until the Airlink service starts again. For more information about these services, visit the Lothian Buses website

EICC has an established relationship with Virgin Atlantic, who can offer discounted flights between Edinburgh and London on their new service, Virgin Atlantic Little Red. For more information on discounted flights, visit the Virgin Atlantic website

By rail 

Edinburgh has two railway stations: 

  • Waverley Station, which is 1.3 miles from EICC, is the city's main railway station and has direct routes to many cities across the country, including over 25 daily departures from London. 
  • Haymarket Station, which is just 0.4 miles from EICC, is a stop for many commuter and some UK train routes. Please ensure that you check with your rail network provider to find out if your train will stop at Haymarket or Waverley. 

For more information on the rail network within the UK, please visit East Coast, National Rail or Trainline; a one-stop shop for train and coach travel. 

By car 

If you are travelling using a sat nav, please use the postcode EH3 8EE. The main entrance is on Morrison Street.

By bus 

Edinburgh's main bus terminal is located at St Andrews Square. Visit Lothian Buses for more information on local bus services. Bus connections stretch right across the UK. For details of these routes please visit: www.nationalexpress.com or www.citylink.co.uk

Coach 

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

Car parking 
Exhibition & Sponsorship

Annual Conference provides the ultimate gathering location for over 1,600 microbiologists and other professionals of related fields from over 30 countries.

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

We anticipate a big demand for our exhibitor stands so if you would like more information or if you have any questions please email exhibitions@microbiologysociety.org to discuss package options to suit you.

Exhibition and sponsorship

We have Gold, Silver and Bronze packages, or Pick and Mix options that can be tailored to your needs and budget.

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

Annual Conference 2020 Exhibition Pack


Registration form

To book your exhibition or sponsorship place, please download the fillable registration form below and return to exhibitions@microbiologysociety.org with your logo and website link: 

Annual Conference 2020 Exhibition or Sponsorship Booking Form


Floorplan

Download the floorplan showing the available exhibition spaces or contact exhibitions@microbiologysociety.org

Annual Conference 2020 Floorplan


Exhibitors

 

 

 

Sponsors