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This year’s Early Career Microbiologists’ (ECM) Forum Summer Conference (#ECMConf23), is taking place in Bristol and is titled: Method in the Madness: Microbiological Techniques and Approaches.

The conference is dedicated to showcasing early career research, career development and networking. It will provide postdoctoral researchers, undergraduate, masters and PhD students with a peer-led conference experience designed to offer an introductory experience to scientific conferences and professional development opportunities. 

Approved by the Royal Society of Biology for purposes of CPD, this event may be counted as 33 CPD credits.

Organising committee: 
Joanne Kite (University of Cambridge, UK) 
Raphael Galleh (University of Sheffield, UK) 
Gillian Carney (University College Dublin, Ireland) 
Jack Ferguson (University of Birmingham, UK) 
Andres Ceballos Garzon (University de Nantes, France)
Ella Rodwell (UK Health Security Agency, UK) 
Ainsley Beaton (John Innes Centre, UK)  
Paz Aranega Bou (UK Health Security Agency, UK) 

Session View

Tuesday 25 July, Morning

Day 2

Lecture View

Tuesday 25 July, Morning


Registration for the ECM Forum Summer Conference 2023 is now open.

Registration fees

Members of the ECM Forum are eligible for subsidised registration fees for the ECM Forum Summer Conference. Join now to enjoy these discounts and many other opportunities that are designed for microbiologists at all stages of their career.


Price rate

ECM Forum member


Microbiology Society member




What's included in your registration fee?
  • A conference programme guide.
  • An introductory experience of scientific conferences in a peer-led environment.
  • Scientific sessions discussing the latest research from ECM Forum members.
  • Full access to scientific poster sessions.
  • Professional development sessions tailored to those in the early stages of their microbiology careers.
  • Buffet lunch.
  • Tea and coffee breaks.
  • Access to CPD (Continuing Professional Development) points.
  • Certificate of attendance (available after the conference upon request)

Registration confirmation 

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


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

Abstracts & posters
ECM Forum Summer Conference Abstract Book

Access Microbiology and Microbiology are pleased to provide a 'Best Science Prize' to two scientific posters at the Early Career Microbiologists' Forum Summer Conference 2023. The winners are selected by members of the organising committee and will win a cash prize. All posters displayed at the ECM Forum Summer Conference are automatically entered for the prize.

Charlotte Hind
© Charlotte Hind
Charlotte Hind

Charlotte Hind is Project Team Leader at the UK Health Security Agency, UK. 

Research Interests: Antimicrobial drug discovery, non-traditional antimicrobial therapies, antimicrobial resistance.

Talk title: Open innovation in early stage antimicrobial drug discovery

Theme of talk: Microbiological methods in early stage drug discovery, including non-traditional approaches, and how to work openly with collaborators in order to progress the field and cross train the next-generation of scientists.

© Kathryn Lilley
Kathryn Lilley

Kathryn received her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Sheffield, UK. After being a laboratory manager for eleven years, she established the Cambridge Centre for Proteomics, University of Cambridge< UK in 2001. She became the Professor in Cellular Dynamics in Department of Biochemistry University of Cambridge in 2012. She directs a research programme focused on the development and application of technologies to map RNA and protein subcellular localization on a cell-wide scale. Her research looks at the effect of post transcriptional and post translational processing on location, and the extent of re-localisation in response to cellular stress and disease.
She was awarded the Juan Pablo Albar Proteome Pioneer Award from the European Proteomics Association in 2017 and received the HUPO Distinguished Achievements in Proteomics award in 2018. She was elected as a member of EMBO in July 2020 and Academia Europaea in May 2023.

© Nick O'Boyle
Nicky O'Boyle
  • Nicky O'Boyle is Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology at 
  • School of Microbiology, University College, Cork, Ireland. Nicky uses a combination of global analyses (RNA-seq, ChIP-seq and genomic variant calling) to study the response of diverse E. coli pathotypes to signals that are enriched in disease-associated niches. Nicky's talk will discuss the utility of these methods and how they are best employed in tandem with classic molecular approaches like reverse genetics to gain comprehensive insight into the behaviour of bacterial pathogens, and possibly even identify novel therapeutics. Nicky's team's recent work has shown that D-serine elicits surprising pleiotropic responses in different E. coli pathotypes including uropathogenic E. coli, enterohaemorrhagic E. coli and neonatal meningitis-associated E. coli. Some of the interesting phenotypes they have observed are directly attributable to the sensing of D-serine, and some are attributable to the protein products of the dsdCXA D-serine catabolism locus, occurring completely independent of D-serine.

Talk title: Multiple global analyses reveal surprising phenotypes associated with D-serine and the locus for its metabolism in pathogenic E. coli

Research interests: Host-microbe interactions, pathogenesis, environmental sensing, bacterial signal transduction

Anais Painset
© Anais Painset
Anais Painset

Anais is the Lead Bioinformatician for Gastrontestinal Pathogens at the UK Health Security Agency, Public Health Microbiology Division, Gastrontestinal Bacteria Reference Unit.

Research interests: My research interest is in genomics, specifically around outbreak of gastrontestinal illness and phylogenomic. Characterisation of microbial pathogens (virulence, AMR etc.).

Talk title: Enhancing use of WGS for gastrointestinal illness – a public health revolution

Ash Otter 180x180.png
© Ash Otter
Ash Otter

Ash Otter is the Principal Investigator of the Emerging Pathogen Serology Laboratory at the UK Health Security Agency, Porton Down. This lab focuses on developing, assessing, and implementing a wide range of immunoassays for the surveillance and immunology research of emerging pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, Mpox, Lassa fever virus, and H5N1.

Research interests: Emerging Pathogens, Immunology, Immunoassay development

Talk title: Utilising serology to understand emerging pathogens

Theme of talk: Emerging pathogens represent an ongoing public health threat; these include the emergence of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus, the spread of Mpox within Europe and America, and imported cases of viral haemorrhagic fevers such as Lassa into the UK. Serology is a tool which provides the capability to study the immunology of these emerging pathogens to inform on vaccine and therapeutic design. We can further exploit these immune responses induced by infection by using panels of specialist serology assays to perform both retro- and prospective surveillance to monitor the occurrence of emerging pathogens within the population.


Venue & accommodation

Due to unforeseen circumstances, there has been a change of venue for this event. Please see the updated details below:

The meeting will take place in the at The Bristol:
The Bristol
Prince Street


Detailed directions from Bristol Airport, Temple Meads Railway Station and Bristol Bus and Coach Station are available on The Bristol's website. Google Maps directions from various locations are also available via the venue's website.

The Bristol hotel falls within the City of Bristol Clean Air Zone. Charges only apply to older more polluting vehicles. You can find out more via the Government website.

Car parking is available to overnight guests in the adjacent multi-storey for a reduced fee of £14 per night.

Please note: the Redcliffe Bascule Bridge will be closed to all road users between 09:30 and 15:00 each day. All road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, will need to follow a diversion route over Bristol Bridge. If motorists follow the signposted diversion, they will not receive a fine for driving over Bristol Bridge.


Details regarding the venue's accessibility, including their Accessibilty Statement and rating, are available on their website.


We have worked with our booking partner to make it easier to book a hotel near the venue.

Grants & professional development
Grant applications are now closed.
Frequently asked questions
How do I share my dietary requirements?

All dietary requirements can be disclosed at the point of registration and will be shared with the catering team in advance. However, please ensure you ask for advice if required and the catering team will do their best to accommodate your needs.

Will there be any photography and filming at the event?

The Society may carry out filming and photography throughout the conference. The images and videos will be used to promote the conference and the activities of the Society. They may be used online, in Society publications, or for other PR and marketing purposes. Please do not photograph posters or record presentations unless the presenter has given prior consent.

Where can I find programme updates? 

While every effort has been made to ensure the online programme is accurate, changes during the event are unavoidable. We will ensure updates are provided throughout the conference.

Will there be a poster session? 

A dedicated poster session will run but posters can be viewed at any time during the meeting. Velcro and boards will be provided for poster presenters. A digital PDF abstract book will be made available on the event page ahead of the meeting.

Are there any COVID-19 mitigations?

The Microbiology Society is taking seriously its actions in doing its best to mitigate COVID-19 at our in-person events. Find out more on our Events COVID-19 Policy 2023 page.