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Future Events > 84th Harden Conference: Single-molecule bacteriology

84th Harden Conference: Single-molecule bacteriology

9—12 September 2018

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, UK

Earlybird registration deadline: 9 July 2018.


Registration is now open


Abstract submission has now closed.


Single-molecule imaging has revolutionised our ability to study molecular processes underlying bacterial cell function. Using single fluorescent molecules to break the optical microscopy limit (~200 nm), we can achieve resolutions of ~20 nm in living cells, a scale previously accessible only by electron microscopy. New fluorescent proteins and dyes, ultrasensitive microscopy, and image-analysis software have also helped us visualise reactions, interactions and motions inside single bacteria; we can follow single protein machines as they function, and observe fine cellular structures transforming during the cell cycle. In a sense, we are “re-discovering” bacteria with a new set of eyes.

This toolbox is ideal for quantitative biology; we can count molecules, and monitor their intracellular location, mobility and kinetics inside cell populations. Combined with powerful modelling, imaging transforms our understanding of bacteria as complex systems and synthetic-biology vectors. 


With this interdisciplinary meeting, we will showcase the most exciting developments in this young field to a UK and European audience. In selecting speakers, we aimed at scientists using cutting-edge single-molecule imaging to study mechanisms inside single cells. We also aspired to connect world-leading physicists/engineers driving rapid progress in methods with microbiologists applying advanced imaging to long-standing questions in bacteriology. Overall, the meeting will help build a multidisciplinary community working on key mechanisms of bacteria life.

The meeting will cover structural/mechanistic studies of processes using super-resolution imaging and single-molecule methods (tracking, bleaching, co-localisation, FRET). Many processes involve nucleic acids (chromosome organization, DNA replication, repair, recombination, and segregation, gene expression, CRISPR mechanisms), whereas others relate to signal transduction, cell division, cell-wall biosynthesis, and motility. The meeting will also explore new quantitative in vivo techniques applicable to bacteria: theoretical approaches (modelling stochastic gene expression), microfluidics, site-specific labelling, cytological profiling, high-throughput approaches). A third theme will involve studies of clinical/commercial significance (biofilms, pathogenic bacteria, bacterial persistence, antibiotic resistance). 


Programme coordinators

  • Achillefs Kapanidis, University of Oxford, UK
  • Meriem El Karoui, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Stephan Uphoff, University of Oxford, UK
  • Jie Xiao, John Hopkins University, USA



©Dr Mathew Stracy


Oral communication slots are available at this meeting. All attendees, particularly researchers in the early stages of their career, are invited to submit a poster abstract for consideration as an oral communication.


Unique to the Biochemical Society, Harden Conferences are residential research conferences covering a specialist topic.


The conferences bring together scientists from various backgrounds with a common interest in - but varying approaches to - the topic of the conference.


To maintain a suitably high level of discussion and presentation at the conference, it is desirable that participants be experienced in the field covered; most of the participants will be expected to have postdoctoral or equivalent experience, although Ph.D. students will also be welcome.


The planned scientific sessions feature speakers invited by the Organizers and, in addition, time is left for extensive discussion and for short contributions, including posters, by other conference participants.


All participants must be resident for the duration of the conference.Scientists wishing to participate are asked to apply online.


Harden Bursaries


A limited number of bursaries are available to assist younger members of the Biochemical Society to attend the conferences.


Preference will be given to senior graduate students (or those who gained their Ph.D. in the last 5 years) and restricted to members of the Biochemical Society.


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