The summer school reflects the recent development of interest in microbial metabolites that has resulted from the sequencing of small molecule-producing microorganisms, coupled with the current explosive development of sequencing technology, bioinformatics and chemical analysis. Ecological studies highlighting the wide range of roles for small molecules in microbial communities provide another major driving force.
The aim is to bring together a cadre of young scientists from diverse backgrounds, including molecular microbiology, chemistry, microbial ecology and bioinformatics, to share information that can lead to inter-disciplinary approaches to understanding and exploiting metabolite production.
These summer schools have established a reputation for the quality of the faculty and participants (about 40) and the high degree of productive interaction during the week-long courses.
Due to a particular urgency that has been added to the search for novel antibiotics by the rapid rise in drug-resistance among pathogenic microorganisms and cancers, a special feature of the summer school will be hands-on computer workshops to annotate genomes and analyse natural product gene clusters.
The co-directors of the course are David Hopwood and Mervyn Bibb (John Innes Centre), Julian Davies (University of British Columbia) and Duška Vujaklija (Ruđer Bošković Institute, the president of the Section for Bacteriology and an active CMS member).