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Research Workshop on Bacillus in Clinical
and Agricultural Environments 

29 February - 1 March, 2024: Umeå University
29 February -
1 March, 2024
Umeå University
901 87 Umeå, Sweden
Challenges of Bacillus species: from universities to hospitals and industries.

This workshop seeks to unite researchers actively engaged in Bacillus research, as well as those entering the field with relevant expertise in associated domains. The primary objective is to facilitate the exchange of insights and ideas and foster fresh collaborations and synergistic efforts. In particular, the focus of the workshop will be on infection biology and the impact of Bacillus in the “real world” (e.g., in clinical, agricultural, and food industry settings). Finally, the workshop aims to highlight the biosecurity challenges of anthrax.

Session 1. Bacillus genetics and genomics

Session 2. Bacillus in the environment

Session 3. Real-world challenges and hazards with Bacillus

Session 4. Control, inactivation, and predictive modelling of Bacillus

NOTE: Attendance at the conference is restricted to a limited number of participants.


Jasna Kovac

Jasna Kovac is an Associate Professor at The Pennsylvania State University's Department of Food Science. She earned her BSc in microbiology and a PhD in biosciences/biotechnology from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, where she studied molecular epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance in Campylobacter. Dr. Kovac conducted pre-doctoral and post-doctoral research in microbial genomics at the University of Oxford and Cornell University in Maiden and Wiedmann labs, respectively.

In 2017, she started the precision food safety lab at The Pennsylvania State University. Her lab integrates next-generation sequencing and microbiological methods to investigate factors affecting foodborne pathogens' transmission, persistence, virulence, and antimicrobial resistance. One of the key research areas of her lab includes studying the cytotoxic potential of the Bacillus cereus group and leveraging genomics to identify genetic markers predictive of cytotoxicity.

Group page                                                                      Google Scholar

Les Baillie

Les Baillie is a Professor of Microbiology at the school of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences of Cardiff University in the UK.  He is an expert on Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax. The development of therapeutics to combat anthrax has been a central strand of his research career and to date he has progressed two vaccines to clinical trials. Following a decade spent working for the UK MOD at Porton Down as the anthrax group leader, he moved to the US in 2002 where he established a Biodefense Medical Countermeasures Department for the U.S. Navy. The group focused on the development of therapeutics such as vaccines and rapid detection assays for a range of bio-threat agents, including B. anthracis. Since returning to the UK in 2007 to join Cardiff University, he has broadened his research interests to include Clostridium difficile, an organism similar to B. anthracis in terms of spore structure and its ability to produce exotoxins.  

Personal page                                                                      ORCID

Marina Aspholm

Marina Aspholm holds the position of Professor of Microbiology within the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in Norway. Her expertise lies in the field of food safety microbiology, with a particular focus on endospore-forming bacteria. Additionally, her laboratory serves as the national reference laboratory (NRL) for food-borne botulism in Norway.

Dr. Aspholm pursued her Ph.D. studies at Umeå University, concentrating on Helicobacter pylori, the causal agent of gastric ulcers and gastric cancer. From 2005 to 2013, she held positions as a postdoc/researcher at the University of Oslo, where her work initially delved into the respiratory chain. Subsequently, her focus shifted to exploring the impact of posttranslational modifications on pilus biogenesis in Neisseria spp. In 2013, Dr. Aspholm became an Associate Professor in Food Safety Microbiology. Currently, she serves as the leader of the Food Safety Unit within the Department for Paraclinical Sciences. Her primary research area encompasses the study of spore-forming bacteria, particularly those related to pili expressed on the surface of Bacillus and Clostridial spp. Furthermore, she conducts applied research dedicated to addressing spore-related issues within the dairy industry.

Personal page                                                                      Researchgate



Dmitry Malyshev is a researcher in the Biophysics and Biophotonics group at the Department of Physics,  Umeå University. His primary interests are bacterial spore disinfection using both chemicals and light, as well as detection and characterisation of spores using physical tools such as Laser Tweezers and nanoparticles.
Graham Christie is an Associate Professor within the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, and Fellow of Peterhouse. His research is focused on spores of Bacillus species, primarily on the proteins and molecular mechanisms that underpin spore germination, and also on the architecture and assembly of the spore coat and exosporium.
Magnus Andersson is a Professor at the Department of Physics,  Umeå University. He is the group leader of the Biophysics and Biophotonics group, and developsLaser Tweezer Raman Spectroscopy and Force Specroscopy instrument to characterise chemical changes and adhesion interactions at a single-cell level.
Laura Caroll is an Assistant university lecturer at the Department of Clinical Microbiology, Umeå University. Her research concerns bioinformatic approaches such as metagenomic sequencing.
Les Baillie is a Professor of Microbiology at the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences of Cardiff University.  His expertise is on the Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, and rapid detection methods.
  • Daniel Nilsson (Umeå University, Sweden)
Daniel is a PhD researcher at the Department of Physics,  Umeå University. His primary research focus is in microfluidics in biological systems and 3D manufacturing.




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