Behind the scenes: meet Laura Lincoln

FEMS2019 is made possible with thanks to the collaboration with the Society for Applied Microbiology. We interviewed Laura Lincoln, Events & Project Manager, to find out more about the mutual benefits of this collaboration and the SfAM activities at the Congress.

Why did SfAM choose to work with the FEMS Congress?

Co-hosting FEMS 2019 gives us a fantastic opportunity to work with a growing coalition of 54 Member Societies from 38 countries. 

As SfAM is always seeking new ways to assist researchers’ interdisciplinary collaborations, this is a great opportunity for our members to network and forge relationships with a wide range of people from a variety of backgrounds.  

We strongly believe that inter-sector partnerships and the forging of alliances with other organisations is one of the best ways to promote and recognize excellence in microbiology.

Could you introduce the team you are working with on the upcoming congress and what it is they do?

Clare Taylor, our General Secretary is coordinating the SfAM programme and activities for the Congress. Clare is a Senior Lecturer in Medical Microbiology at Edinburgh Napier University, where she is also Head of Student Experience and Employability in the School of Life, Sport & Social Sciences. 

The main focus of her research is on understanding host-microbe interactions, particularly of intracellular bacteria that cause human infection, and the aims of her research are to understand how bacterial gene expression is modulated in response to the host environment, and how this contributes to microbial pathogenicity.

In addition, our Early Career Scientists (ECS) Committee, dedicated to all ECS Members and International Members who’ve just begun their scientific careers in microbiology, will soon start reviewing abstracts that will form part of our ECS presentations and poster lightening talks. 

Are you a member of SfAM? Then make sure to indicate your membership when you submit your abstract so you are considered for the SfAM poster awards, SfAM poster lightening talks and SfAM ECS presentations.

Which of the (SfAM) congress program elements are you looking forward to? Why? 

Awarding the W H Pierce Prize to a microbiologist who’s made a substantial contribution to the science of applied microbiology. This is always a highlight in the SfAM calendar and for 2019, the prize has increased from £3,000 to £6,000. 

Last year’s winner was Dr Sarah Coulthurst, of the School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee. Previous winners of the WH Pierce Prize include Jack Gilbert, Nicola Stanley-Wall, and Brendan Gilmore.

The ECS presentations will also be an exciting and inspirational part of the program. Forty percent of our Members are under 40 years of age and our ECS Members are an integral and highly valued part of our Society. Early career scientists represent the future of applied microbiology and supporting and highlighting their work is a core part of SfAM’s vision.