07 / 11 / 2017

The new five-year strategy

The Society’s new five-year strategy was launched at our recent AGM and Society members are at the heart of everything we aim to do. The new strategy will help empower our members to take their knowledge further, and to shape and help the future of microbiology. The Society’s core values – being welcoming, transparent and dedicated to our charitable aims – are central. Our key objectives, outlining our commitment to our membership, and to long-term sustainability, will allow the Society to continue supporting microbiologists for years to come.

The strategy will be fully implemented from January 2018, but we have already established some initiatives to achieve these objectives – the Early Career Microbiologists’ Forum, and the Council Shadowing Scheme, for example. Look out for many more in the near future.

You can read more about the five-year strategy on our website.

Focused Meetings

The Society would like to thank all those who took part and contributed to this year’s Annual Conference and Focused Meeting programmes, particularly those in our Divisions and Scientific Conferences Committee who will be stepping down at the end of this year. These members ensure our scientific content and topics are current and relevant to our microbiology community, and ensure those accessing our conferences programme get the opportunity to hear from some of the top microbiologists worldwide.

We have now confirmed our programme of Focused Meetings for 2018, and you can read more about these events in this article. Don’t forget, these topics came from suggestions from Society members and you can find out more about how to suggest a topic for our 2019 events by visiting our website.

Multicoloured Microbiomes – a colouring book

The Microbiology Society has recently published Multicoloured Microbiomes, our microbiome-themed colouring book, priced at £5. Copies are available to order, to be delivered in time for Christmas – please see the article in this issue, or email books@microbiologysociety.org.

Congratulations to our 2018 Prize Lecture winners

The Society is pleased to announce the Prize Lecture winners for 2018. These Prizes are awarded in recognition of significant contributions to the field of microbiology, and each winner will present a Prize Lecture at the Microbiology Society’s Annual Conference 2018, taking place from 10 to 13 April in Birmingham. Please see our news story for more information.

Young Microbiologist of the Year

Daniel Hurdiss (University of Leeds) was presented with the Young Microbiologist of the Year award for 2017. Daniel gave his talk, entitled ‘High-resolution cryo-EM as a tool to study virion assembly and cellular entry of BK polyomavirus, a major cause of kidney transplant rejection’, at the Annual General Meeting this September. Andrew O’Connor (University College Dublin) won second place, with Rebecca Hall (University of York) taking third place in the competition. Congratulations to all participants for their excellent presentations.

IJSEM welcomes new Editor-in-Chief

International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (IJSEM) is excited to welcome Professor Martha Trujillo (Universidad de Salamanca, Spain) as its new Editor-in-Chief. Martha is a leading expert in microbial ecology and systematics with over 120 publications to her name. She has been an Associate Editor for the journal since 2009 and is the current President of the Bergey’s International Society for Microbial Systematics. Find out more on the journals update article.

All those involved with IJSEM would also like to say a huge thank you to Professor Aharon Oren for all his hard work and sincere dedication to the role during his tenure as Editor-in-Chief. We are immensely pleased to be retaining his experience and expertise as Nomenclature Reviewer and List Editor for IJSEM.

Grant deadlines



1 December 2017

Travel Grants – to support members presenting their work at a conference between 1 January and 31 March 2018.

30 January 2018

Society Conference Grants – to support members attending the Annual Conference 2018.

10 February 2018

Harry Smith Vacation Studentships – to support members to host an undergraduate student for a summer project in 2018.

Please note: Further eligibility criteria apply. Please see our grants pages for details.

Great news: we’ve won an award! 

Earlier this year the Association of British Science Writers jointly awarded Ben and Anand the Dr Katharine Giles award for their writing on the Society’s Microbe Post blog, ahead of a packed field of competitors. Needless to say we’re absolutely delighted and want to thank all of our members for taking the time to read our posts or pick up the phone to answer our questions.

Society members attend parliamentary events

Over the summer, members and staff attended several science policy events supported by the Society. Parliamentary Links Day 2017, organised by the Royal Society of Biology, brought the STEM community and policy-makers to the Houses of Parliament to discuss ‘UK Science and Global Opportunities’. Speakers included Science Minister Jo Johnson MP and Sir John Kingman, Chair of UK Research and Innovation. During panel discussions, Society members raised issues about Brexit and science. Afterwards, members attended a House of Lords luncheon with parliamentarians and speakers.

In July, Society members Professor Carol Munro and Dr Rebecca Hall attended a Parliamentary and Scientific Committee meeting on human fungal diseases. Parliamentarians and experts discussed the burden of fungal disease on public health, challenges of diagnosis and antifungal stewardship. 

The Society also supported Science and the Assembly 2017. The STEM community and policy-makers at the National Assembly for Wales met at this event, organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry, to discuss antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Several members of the Society spoke at the event. Society Policy Officer Jonathan Hamston also attended a debate on this issue at the European Parliament ahead of the launch of the European One Health Plan Against AMR.

You can read more about Parliamentary Links Day 2017 and Science and the Assembly 2017 on our blog.

Annual Conference 2018

Registration and abstract submission is now open for our 2018 Annual Conference, which takes place 10–13 April at the ICC in Birmingham, UK. The abstract submission deadline is Monday 11 December 2017, so make sure you submit before this to be in with a chance of presenting your work. Read more in our article and visit our website for more information about session topics and the social programme.

FIS 2017

The Federation of Infection Societies (FIS) meeting will take place this year at the ICC in Birmingham from 30 November to 2 December. Find out more about what’s on offer by visiting the event’s website.

ECM Forum Division Representatives

We are delighted to announce our new Division Representatives for the Early Career Microbiologists’ (ECM) Forum:

Virology Division Dr Leah Fitzsimmons
Prokaryotic Division Megan Booth
Irish Division Dr Justine Rudkin

We are still looking for a Eukaryotic Division Representative, so please contact ecm@microbiologysociety.org if you are interested.

These representatives will be vital in bringing the ECM viewpoint to our Annual Conference and Focused Meeting planning, as well as being key organisers of the new ECM Summer Conference next year.

Antibiotics Unearthed in Glasgow

The final pop-up event for Antibiotics Unearthed was held at the Glasgow Botanic Gardens in September.

Ethan Drury, the Society’s match-funded PhD student, took part and was collecting interview data as well, as part of his project.

This concludes the series of pop-up events for Antibiotics Unearthed. To find out how the School Partnership programme has been going, visit the Schoolzone section or visit our website.


The Society is sad to announce the passing of Dr J. R. Dickinson. His obituary can be read on the Cardiff University website.

Contributions and feedback

The Society welcomes contributions and feedback from members. Please contact mtoday@microbiologysociety.org with your ideas.

Image: Parliamentary Links Day 2017. Microbiology Society. Antibiotics Unearthed at Glasgow Botanic Gardens. Laura Bowater.