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Overview

Bacterial infections remain one of the top causes of human suffering and death globally. Rising antibiotic resistance is threatening our ability to fight infections and to enhance the burden of disease. Nearly all important bacterial pathogens depend on secretion systems for their ability to cause disease. These systems deliver virulence factors to the surface or directly into host cells, where they modulate host processes to the benefit of the bacteria.

Recent major technical advances in super-resolution light and electron microscopy as well as new ‘omic’-technologies, e.g. chemical and interaction proteomics, are accelerating the functional characterisation of the secretion machineries and their substrates in bacterial pathogenesis. It is therefore an exciting time with new discoveries constantly pushing our understanding of the molecular basis of host-pathogen interactions to new levels.

In this meeting, taking place on the 3–4 November 2022 in Belfast, UK, we will bring together world-leading experts on the structure and function of secretion systems as well as their protein cargos from diverse bacteria in Gram-negative and Gram-positive pathogens, providing the audience with an overview of the latest developments and fostering critical exchange, networking and new collaborations across the research community, which investigates protein secretion at the host-pathogen interface.

Key topics

  • Structure & function of type II, III, IV, VI and VII secretion systems
  • The functional biology and role of secreted/translocated effectors in the interaction with host cells and pathogenesis
  • Evolution of secretion systems and effectors
  • Methods to identify and functionally characterise new secretion systems and their cargos

Organising committee

  • Gunnar N. Schroeder (Queen’s University Belfast, UK)
  • Jose A. Bengoechea (Queen’s University Belfast, UK)
  • Joana Sa Pessoa (Queen’s University Belfast, UK)

COVID-19 Mitigations

As part of the preparations for returning to delivering in-person events, Microbiology Society Council members and members of the Virus Division have worked with Society staff to develop a framework of mitigations for the Society to apply to all of its events throughout 2022, in order to ensure that these are as COVID-secure as possible.

Implementation of this framework is a shared responsibility; shared between the Society, the venues we use for our events, and all potential attendees. Attendance at any of our events is a personal choice, but it will be incumbent on all of us to deliver these mitigations in order for us to keep all delegates and staff as safe as we can.

The framework covers the following five areas.

1. Vaccines
2. Ventilation
3. Masks
4. Testing
5. Spacing, particularly during communal activities such as lunch and poster sessions
 

The following mitigations will be implemented for all those attending a Focused Meeting in 2022. The Society staff will continue to consult with the organising committee in the lead up to the event and these mitigations will be kept under review and may be amended to ensure they remain appropriate as circumstances change.

Mitigation area

Vaccines

All attendees are required to be fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine against COVID-19 to attend a Focused Meeting in 2022. For many individuals, this will mean a primary course and booster vaccine, and with the booster administered at least 14 days before the meeting. However, if you do not meet this requirement or if you have any concerns around your vaccination status, please get in touch with us to discuss it further by emailing [email protected]

You can find further information on vaccines on the World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 vaccine advice page, which includes a list of vaccines that have been approved for use against COVID-19.

Ventilation

Best efforts will be made to promote the circulation of fresh air into each Focused Meeting venue. This will include use of air conditioning, if available at the meeting venue, or opening of doors and windows during appropriate intervals in the event programme if possible.

Masks

FFP3 masks will be provided to all individuals attending a Focused Meeting in 2022 and everyone will be expected to wear them inside the meeting venue, except when eating or drinking and except for those that have medical exemptions.

Testing

Attendees will be provided with LFT devices and are expected to test themselves daily before entering the meeting venue.

Spacing

All attendees are reminded to adhere to social distancing where possible, particularly during communal activities such as lunch and poster sessions.

Further information will be announced in the build up to the meeting on our social media channels and you can follow us on Twitter @MicrobioSoc using the hashtag #HostPathSecretion22

Image credit: STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Programme

Type

Session

Session View
Lecture View

Thursday 03 November

Speakers

Below you will find more information about our invited speakers, who will present their work and research at the Protein secretion at the host-pathogen interface meeting.

  • Carmen Buchrieser (Institute Pasteur, France)
  • Gunnar Schroeder (Queen’s University Belfast, UK)
  • Harry Low (Imperial College London, UK)
  • Jose Bengoechea (Queen’s University Belfast, UK)
  • Samuel Wagner (University of Tubingen, Germany)
  • Suzana Salcedo (University of Lyon, France)
  • Teresa Thurston (Imperial College London, UK)
  • Tracy Palmer (Newcastle University, UK)
  • Wilbert Bitter (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Jose Bengoechea

Professor Jose Bengoechea completed his degree in Biology and acquired further specialisation in Microbiology at the University of Navarra (Pamplona, Spain) during his PhD. In 1998, he took a postdoc position in the laboratory of Professor Mikael Skurnik (Turku, Finland) to receive advanced training in molecular microbiology. In 2002, after obtaining a “Miguel Servet” tenure-track contract, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Health, Professor Bengoechea started his independent research career at University Hospital Son Dureta (Palma de Mallorca, Spain). In 2007, he earned a tenure position in the Spanish Research Council (CSIC). Professor Bengoechea joined Queen’s University Belfast in July 2013, as a Professor of Molecular Microbiology and he is currently the Director of the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine.

Professor Bengoechea is an internationally recognised leader in the antimicrobial resistance field with a major focus on understanding how multidrug-resistant microbes avoid immune defences. Professor Bengoechea has established a unique reputation in the study of Klebsiella pneumoniae infections. This pathogen has been singled out as an "urgent threat to human health" due to drug-resistant strains. His laboratory has pioneered the study of the interplay between Klebsiella and the immune system, and research from his laboratory has provided the foundation for new treatment against this microbe, including the first-of-its-kind host-directed therapeutics approach.  His research programme is supported by the BBSRC, and the MRC.



Samuel Wagner

 

 



Suzana Salcedo

Dr Suzana Salcedo studied Microbiology in Porto, Portugal and received a PhD in 2003 from Imperial College London for her work on Salmonella. She did postdoctoral training at the Centre of Immunology Marseille-Luminy, France and was recruited as an INSERM permanent researcher in 2005 to study how Brucella modulates innate immunity. In 2012, she was awarded a FINOVI Young Researcher grant to start her team at the Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology and Structural Biochemistry, University of Lyon/CNRS, France. Her main research interest is studying how bacterial pathogens modulate cellular responses to cause disease, namely Brucella and Acinetobacter baumannii. By combining integrated molecular and cellular approaches, one of the team’s main focuses is identifying the specific bacterial proteins injected into host cells during infection, and characterizing the targeted host pathways. Her current work focuses on studying the intracellular zoonotic pathogen Brucella abortus and the multi-drug resistant nosocomial pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii.



Tracy Palmer

Tracy Palmer obtained a BSc in Biochemistry and subsequently a PhD in Bioenergetics from the University of Birmingham, UK. After a postdoc at the University of Dundee, she was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in 1996 to set up her own research group at the John Innes Centre in Norwich. Research in Tracy’s lab contributed to the description of the Tat protein export system in bacteria, a discovery for which she jointly received the Fleming Medal from the Microbiology Society in 2002 (with her longstanding collaborator Ben Berks). In 2004, she was awarded an MRC Senior Non-Clinical Research Fellowship and she was promoted to Professor of Molecular Microbiology in 2005. Tracy joined the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee in 2007 where she headed the Division of Molecular Microbiology from 2009 to 2016. In 2018, Tracy moved to Newcastle University where she is a Professor of Microbiology and Lead for the Microbes in Health and Disease Theme in the Faculty of Medical Sciences.

In addition to her longstanding research programme on the Tat pathway, Tracy also works on the Type VII secretion system in the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. Her research has revealed an unexpected role for this pathway in interbacterial competition, with important implications for shaping the microbiota. Follow-up studies have confirmed it to be a widespread feature of this secretion system among Gram-positive bacteria. Tracy was elected a member of EMBO in 2017 and a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2018. Her research is supported by BBSRC, MRC and Wellcome.



Wilbert Bitter

In 2001, when Wilbert Bitter started his own research group on tuberculosis in the VU medical centre, he decided to focus on the mycobacterial cell envelope that was crucial to understanding the pathogen in question and, ultimately, to control this disease. However, to be able to do this, not only the biochemistry and genetics of pathogenic mycobacteria had to be mastered, but also an amenable and reliable infection model. For this, the zebrafish was introduced and more specifically the zebrafish larvae infection model using M. marinum as a host. Wilbert’s group was the first to describe the function of the ESX-5 secretion system in pathogenic mycobacteria and he also coined the term type VII secretion for these systems (AM Abdallah et al., Nature Microbiology Reviews 2007). Subsequently, his group uncovered the composition and structure of type VII secretion systems, the secretion signal for substrates and the structure of the type VII secretion membrane complex. In recent years Wilbert Bitter has continued to unravel the host-pathogen interactions of mycobacteria and identified a new hypervirulence factor in clinical isolates of M. tuberculosis (LS Ates et al., Nature Microbiology 2018), but also started to work on the identification of new compounds that affect cell wall functioning in M. tuberculosis (Patent Application No.: EP19193612, Title: iinhobition of mycobacterial type vii secretion). Wilbert Bitter is Editor of FEMS Microbiology Reviews and chair of the KNVM/NVMM science committee to promote Dutch microbiology and organise the yearly spring meeting. In 2010, he was appointed professor of Molecular Microbiology at the Vrije Universiteit and Professor of Medical Microbiology at the VU medical centre, now called the Amsterdam UMC.

Abstracts & Posters

Abstract submissions for the Protein secretion at the host-pathogen interface meeting are now open. 

Submissions close on 15 July 2022 at 23:59 BST.

Submit your abstract


Both members and non-members of the Microbiology Society are welcome to submit an abstract for the meeting. All offered oral and poster presentations will be selected from the abstracts submitted. Once submissions are closed, they will be reviewed by the organising committee, and submitters will be notified of the outcome by email during the first week of August.

By submitting an abstract to this meeting, you are indicating to the session organisers your commitment to attend the event in person.

Abstract guidance

Abstracts must be a maximum of 250 words. The Society has produced a guide to give delegates some tips on how to write a great abstract, which can be downloaded below:

How to write a great abstract

 

Please note that the abstract is the only information session organisers use when deciding whether to accept your work for presentation as an offered oral or poster. If accepted, it will also be published in the abstract book for the meeting, so think carefully about what needs to be included.

Grants & Professional Development

Society Conference Grants will be available to support eligible members wishing to attend this Focused Meeting.

Applications will open on 25 July 2022  and close on 8 August 2022. Further information is available on the Society Conference Grants page.

We are aware of ongoing uncertainty around event attendance as the pandemic continues. To find out more about our grant refund policies, please visit our Grant Rules page.

Members who are ineligible for the Society Conference Grant should apply to the Travel Grant scheme for support. Applications for events taking place between 1 October –31 December 2022 will open at the end of June and close on 1 September 2022.

Please contact [email protected] for any questions.

Registration

Registration is now open

Registration fees 

Members get heavily subsidised registration fees for Annual Conference, Focused Meetings and other Society events – both online and in-person. Join now  to enjoy these discounts and many other opportunities that are designed for microbiologists at all stages of their careers.

Everyone who attends the meeting is asked to read and adhere to our COVID-19 mitigations framework. Please click on the dropdown below to read the policies in place for the meeting.

COVID-19 Mitigations

As part of the preparations for returning to delivering in-person events, Microbiology Society Council members and members of the Virus Division have worked with Society staff to develop a framework of mitigations for the Society to apply to all of its events throughout 2022, in order to ensure that these are as COVID-secure as possible.

Implementation of this framework is a shared responsibility; shared between the Society, the venues we use for our events, and all potential attendees. Attendance at any of our events is a personal choice, but it will be incumbent on all of us to deliver these mitigations in order for us to keep all delegates and staff as safe as we can.

The framework covers the following five areas.

  1. Vaccines
  2. Ventilation
  3. Masks
  4. Testing
  5. Spacing, particularly during communal activities such as lunch and poster sessions

The following mitigations will be implemented for all those attending a Focused Meeting in 2022. The Society staff will continue to consult with the organising committee in the lead up to the event and these mitigations will be kept under review and may be amended to ensure they remain appropriate as circumstances change.

Vaccines

All attendees are required to be fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine against COVID-19 to attend a Focused Meeting in 2022. For many individuals, this will mean a primary course and booster vaccine, and with the booster administered at least 14 days before the meeting. However, if you do not meet this requirement or if you have any concerns around your vaccination status, please get in touch with us to discuss it further by emailing [email protected]

You can find further information on vaccines on the World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 vaccine advice page, which includes a list of vaccines that have been approved for use against COVID-19.

Ventilation

 

Best efforts will be made to promote the circulation of fresh air into each Focused Meeting venue. This will include use of air conditioning, if available at the meeting venue, or opening of doors and windows during appropriate intervals in the event programme if possible.

 

Masks

 

FFP3 masks will be provided to all individuals attending a Focused Meeting in 2022 and everyone will be expected to wear them inside the meeting venue, except when eating or drinking and except for those that have medical exemptions.

Testing

 

Attendees will be provided with LFT devices and are expected to test themselves daily before entering the meeting venue.

Spacing

 

All attendees are reminded to adhere to social distancing where possible, particularly during communal activities such as lunch and poster sessions.

What's included in your registration fee?
  • Admission to all scientific sessions
  • Lunch and refreshments
  • Drinks’ reception and conference dinner
  • Certificate of participation (upon request)

Early-Bird discounted rates close on Friday 30 September, 23:59 BST.

Ticket

Early-Bird

Full Price

Non-member 

£370

£420

Full member 

£270

£320

Concessionary member 

£220

£270

Student member 

£170

£200

Registration confirmation 

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

Payment information 

All registration fees must be paid in full before the start of the event. Any outstanding registration fees must be paid before any joining instructions containing information on how to access the event are sent out. 

Cancellations 

We are aware of ongoing uncertainty around event attendance as the pandemic continues. In order to give delegates the most confidence and flexibility, we will refund all registration fees in full if you cancel your booking, for whatever reason, at any time in the lead up to the event. If you wish to cancel your booking and request a refund before the event, please email [email protected]

Venue & Accommodation

This meeting will take place at Riddel Hall in Belfast.

Venue 

Riddel Hall
185 Stranmillis Road
Belfast
BT9 5EE

Parking

Please note there is currently no parking available on-site. Attendees travelling with a vehicle are advised to arrange parking with their hotel or make use of local car parks.

Accommodation

Please note that accommodation is not included in the registration rates for this meeting; however, we have negotiated discounted rates for attendees at local hotels. Please see the below for details.

The Malone Hotel (0.7 miles from the venue)

Limited rooms are available. Rates are valid for the nights of 2, 3 and 4 November 2022.

£86 B&B Classic Room Single Occupancy

£106 B&B Executive Room Single Occupancy

The discounted rates are only available when booking directly with the hotel. Bookings can be made by phone or email: The Malone Hotel 028 90 388 000; [email protected]

Please quote group code 019922 (Microbiology Society). You will need to provide card details to secure the booking, and payment is due on arrival.

Holiday Inn Belfast City Centre (1.4 miles from venue)

Rates are valid for the nights of 2, 3 and 4 November 2022.

£99.00 B&B Single Occupancy

£109.00 B&B Double Occupancy

The discounted rates are only available when booking directly with the hotel, their office is open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Bookings can be made by phone or email:  Holiday Inn Belfast City Centre: 028 90 878 796; [email protected]

Please quote Microbiology Society when booking.

A credit or debit card number with a valid expiry date will be required at the time of the booking. Individual reservations will be subject to a 48-hour cancellation policy. Paid-for parking is available with the hotel.

Accessibility

Riddel Hall is fully wheelchair accessible. The Isdell Courtyard (main lecture space) has an induction loop system. Access guide for Riddel Hall.

The evening conference dinner will be held in the Great Hall, Lanyon Building, which is 0.8 miles from Riddel Hall. Access guide for the Great Hall, Lanyon Building.

Please be aware the pavement on the public path from Riddel Hall to the Lanyon building is not level and is partially obstructed by trees.

If you have any further questions regarding accessibility at the meeting, please contact [email protected]

 

Exhibition & Sponsorship

Please contact [email protected] to enquire about exhibition and sponsorship opportunities.