This meeting is a continuation of the Zing Conferences Bacterial Cell Biology series. In the last two decades there has been an explosion of interest in fundamental aspects of bacterial structure and function, based on advances in fluorescence and cryo-EM imaging. In the last few years, quantitative and automated methods have brought about radical changes in the breadth and depth of studies, leading to important mechanistic discoveries. Meanwhile, genome sequencing and genetic methods such as CRISPR-Cas9 and Tn-Seq have greatly expanded the range of organisms that can be studied incisively, enabling comparative studies of processes such as growth, morphogenesis and division, across diverse bacterial phyla. The conference will bring together presentations illustrating the application of advanced cell and molecular biology methods to a wide range of basic functions in bacterial cells. Advances in understanding of the fundamentals of bacterial structure and function also create opportunities for the development of novel approaches to kill or modulate the growth and behaviour of bacterial cells.
Specific sessions are likely to cover the following areas.
- Cell morphogenesis
- Cell division
- Chromosome replication and segregation
- Cell biology of transcription and translation
- Advances in imaging
- Diversity in bacterial structure and function
- Bacterial communities and signalling
- Bacterial chemical biology
Confirmed Invited Speakers
Tom Bernhardt (Harvard University)
Melanie Blokesch (EPFL, Lausanne)
Yves Brun (Indiana University)
Cees Dekker (Delft University of Technology)
Ethan Garner (Harvard University)
Stephan Gruber (University of Lausanne)
Grant Jensen (Caltech)
Petra Levin (Washington University in St. Louis)
Jun Liu (Yale School of Medicine)
Joe Lutkenhaus (University of Kansas Medical Center)
Tam Mignot (CNRS, Paris)
Heath Murray (Newcastle University)
Johan Paulsson (Harvard Medical School)
Mariana Pinho (ITQB, Portugal)
Hesper Rego (Yale University)
Lotte Sogaard-Andersen (Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology)
Gürol Suel (UC San Diego)
Waldemar Vollmer (Newcastle University)
Suzanne Walker (Harvard Medical School)
Jie Xiao (Johns Hopkins University)
Liz Sockett (Nottingham University)
The conference should attract all of the major players in the bacterial cell biology field, of which there are probably 50 or so significant groups world wide. It will also attract many microbiologists with a general interest in microbial cell function who would badge themselves as molecular biologists or microbial biochemists.
The talks will cover a wide range of topics and PhDs, post-docs and group leaders will all benefit by being brought up to date with developments across the field.
Bacterial cell biology underpins important applied research areas such as infectious disease, antimicrobial discovery and development, and synthetic biology, but it is not really taught as a discipline in its own right, now that microbiology degree courses have all but disappeared. The modern discipline, which has emerged in the last 20 or so years, covers a wide range of technical methods and can be highly quantitative, as well as covering a diversity of organisms and mechanistic problems. The conference presentations will collectively provide a comprehensive grounding in all major facets of the field, bringing new comers to field, at all levels (pre- and post-doctoral, and group leaders switching fields), up to speed.