Australian Society For Microbiology 2017

By Anthony Baker, chairman of the local organising committee for ASM2017, Tasmania
Wednesday, 31 May, 2017

Australian Society For Microbiology 2017

The president of the Australian Society for Microbiology, ASN Conference organisers and the organising committee would like to invite you to stunning Tasmania for the 45th Annual Scientific Meeting and Trade Exhibition. The event will be held at Hotel Grand Chancellor in Hobart from 2–5 July.

The 2017 conference has the theme of Planetary Health, a fitting title for a Hobart meeting given the tumultuous history of Tasmania’s environmental battles. Planetary Health represents a new discipline that highlights the interconnectedness between human health and the natural systems that underpin our civilisation and planet Earth. Microbiologists are aware of the importance of the ‘unseen’ life that surrounds us; however, recent discoveries continue to highlight just how significant microbes are on a global scale.

Advances in genomics and sequencing technologies in particular have allowed unprecedented insight into microbial communities; insights that have led to the realisation that microbial complexity plays an underpinning role in all aspects of human civilisation. This year’s scientific theme aims to emphasise the diversity of microbial life as it pertains to Planetary Health, from global systems affecting climate to individual molecular mechanisms of microbial function and everything in between. It is only through the study of microbial life that we can truly begin to understand and manipulate the systems that nourish, sustain and impact our civilisation.

The meeting will commence on Sunday, 2 July, with a comprehensive workshop program delivering content pertinent to antimicrobials, virology, serology, biofilms and mycobacteria. For the first time the conference will also be hosting a ‘Writer’s Corner’ workshop specifically aimed at those who wish to expand into writing scientific literature outside of the standard peer-reviewed journals.

As always, the meeting will feature eminent scientists from Australia and around the globe, commencing with the annual Public Lecture on Sunday afternoon. This year, ASM’s opening speaker will be Professor Anthony (Tony) Capon from the University of Sydney who is recognised as the world’s first professor of Planetary Health. The event will be shortly followed by the Bazeley Oration presented by Professor Mariagrazia Pizza. The Bazeley Oration is fully supported by the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories to recognise significant achievements in the field of vaccines. Professor Pizza is recognised as the first woman in history to discover and bring to licensure two innovative live-saving vaccines: Meningococcal B and Pertussis.

The annual Rubbo Oration recognises outstanding contribution to the field of microbiology. This year, the awardee is Professor Pascale Cossart, director of the Unité des Interactions Bactéries-Cellules at the Pasteur Institute, Paris. Professor Cossart has dedicated much of her working life to the study of intracellular pathogens, particularly Listeria monocytogenes, for which she has received numerous prestigious awards. The Society is honoured to host her at ASM2017.

In addition, ASM will be hosting Professor Robin Patel (biofilm associated infections), Professor Christopher Sassetti (mycobacterial host-pathogen physiology), Doctor Sonja Best (innate immunity to viruses), Professor Bill Petri (enteric infections), Associate Professor Christian Voolstra (coral reef health) and Professor Bart Weimer (foodborne and veterinary pathogen population genetics). The symposia invited speakers, proffered papers, posters, Special Interest Group and specific discipline meetings will provide an excellent opportunity for innovative thinking and to catalyse connections with colleagues.

In conjunction with the Annual Scientific Meeting, EduCon 2017 will be hosted prior to the main event on Saturday, 1 July. EduCon will focus on contemporary and exciting ways to engage students and teach microbiology at all levels. It is open to educators of any field, not just microbiology, and definitely has something to offer anyone on the front line of education.

The social program has been developed with the objective of facilitating networking and interactions, while showcasing some of the food and beverages that Tasmania is becoming famous for. It will be a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and colleagues and develop new relationships within our profession, while having a bit of fun at the same time. The event’s location puts it in close proximity to a host of world-class restaurants, museums (including the new Mawson’s Hut replicas), the iconic Salamanca Markets, the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens and, with a short ferry ride, the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) — ranked consistently as one of the world’s best modern art galleries. For those who wish to venture slightly further, Mt Wellington summit offers spectacular views of Hobart and its surrounds while an assortment of wineries or the Cascade Brewery are places worthy of further investigation for the food and drink connoisseur.

The Tasmanian local organising committee is proud to present an outstanding scientific and social program with an ensemble of leading scientific speakers from around the globe. We hope to see you in Hobart for the 45th Annual Scientific Meeting and Trade Exhibition of the Australian Society for Microbiology. Please visit the meeting website for times and further details of the program at:

Image credit: © Balestri

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