Physics of Bacterial Biofilms, Oxford, 6 January 2016

This meeting is the eighth of a series of focussed workshops which will consider several themes of the EPSRC NetworkPlus in ‘Understanding the Physics of Life’. These themes were developed through intensive discussion of participants during the network’s three earlier plenary conference events.

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This workshop will focus on the specific challenges at the physical/life sciences interface relating to bacterial biofilm formation. These concern questions spanning molecular to cellular scales, and involve all bacterial processes, for example including signal sensing and transduction, molecular mechanics of pili, surface-assisted cell motility, mechanical signaling, cell growth/division, shape and structure of colonies, and genetic heterogeneities. The meeting will include a series of short talks from leading biologists and biophysicists to “set the scene” for intensive discussion into developing novel and exciting lines of interfacial research in this area.

The Workshop will provide a mechanism to nucleate new collaborative partnerships that will lead to outstanding science and the award of grants by research councils. Discussion sessions will be a very important element of the event, and it is hoped that all attendees will come ready to engage fully in that element of the programme. Our aim by the close of the meeting is to have seeded potential new collaborations and novel lines of cutting-edge interdisciplinary research in this area.

The organisers invite participation by academics (including early- and mid-career research fellows), clinical researchers and industrial scientists in the UK who are interested in the central goal of generating new collaborative research interactions at the physical/life sciences interface focussed on challenging questions pertaining to the physics of bacterial biofilms. The main business of these meetings will be to provide opportunities for researchers to talk and interact through, for example, brief flash presentations, speed-dating exercises, poster presentations, facilitated discussions and other activities.

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Martin Delahunty

Global Director, Nature Partner Journals, Nature Research

Working within Nature Research's Open Research Group, I am Global Director for Nature Partner Journals based in London. I have responsibility across five global office locations to develop Nature Partner Journals, a new series of online-only, open access journals, published in collaboration with world-renowned partners. Launched in April 2014, the portfolio now includes 14 titles including 'npj Biofilms and Microbiomes'. I have a Degree in Natural Sciences specializing in Microbiology from Trinity College Dublin and a Masters in Business Administration from The Open University. Within the broader medical publications community, I serve as Secretary and Trustee for the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals.