British Society for Microbial Technology

An article by Valerie Bevan Women advancing in science: an ongoing tale of inequalities was featured in the October edition of Pathology in Practice discussing why women continue to struggle to get to the top in science.

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The BSMT is famous for its excellent Microbiology conferences!

  • Date for your diary:

    The 35th Annual Scientific Conference will be held on
    Thursday 14 May 2020 at the RAF Museum, Hendon
    Title: The Genomic and Molecular Revolution in Microbiology: in Technology we Trust (or do we?)

    • Modernising microbiology: the next ten years
      Professor Derrick Crook, Head Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Unit, John Radcliffe Hospital and University of Oxford
    • Current methods and problems in testing for antimicrobial resistance
      Dr Katie Hopkins, Clinical Scientist, HCAI & AMR Division, National Infection Service, PHE
    • Whole Genome Sequencing in MTB, what can we learn beyond ID and sensitivity?
      Dr Pretin Davda, SpR Infectious Diseases and General Medicine, Birmingham
    • Bringing in NGS to the clinical microbiology laboratory without high capital expenditure or specialised bioinformatic knowledge
      Dr Adela Alcolea-Medina, Clinical Scientist Microbiology, Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital, Viapath
    • Does the use of rapid diagnostic tests in respiratory microbiology really reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescribing?
      Dr Sanjay Patel, Paediatric ID Consultant, Southampton Children’s Hospital
    • The need for quality control in molecular diagnostics and NGS
      Paul Wallace, Scientific Director, QCMD, Glasgow
    • STIs – new approaches in testing (multiplex testing and POCT)
      Dr Megan Crofts, Consultant in Genitourinary Medicine, Unity Sexual Health, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust

    Professor Brian Duerden CBE and Professor Eric Bolton, President of the BSMT, will chair the conference.

    We are grateful to the following companies who are supporting this year's conference:

    • Alpha Laboratories Limited
    • Beckman Coulter UK Limited
    • Becton Dickinson UK Limited
    • Bioconnections Limited
    • BioMérieux UK Limited
    • Bruker UK Limited
    • Cepheid
    • Culture Collections Public Health England
    • Don Whitley Scientific Limited
    • E&O Laboratories
    • Genetic Signatures
    • Launch Diagnostics Limited
    • Mast Group Limited
    • Medical Wire and Equipment Co Limited
    • Mobidiag Ltd
    • Pro-lab Diagnostics
    • Qiagen
    • R-Biopharm Rhône Limited
    • Serosep UK Ltd
    • Sysmex UK Ltd

    Access the link to the Programme, Online Application Form or alternatively download a Printable Application Form and send by post to Joanna Donn, BSMT, c/o Public Health England, 61 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5EQ.

    Free parking and access after the conference to the museum.

BSMT conferences are aimed at senior biomedical and clinical scientists, other scientists, medical microbiologists and other healthcare professionals. They are particularly relevant for bench microbiologists to provide up-to-date information about organisms and techniques especially with regard to new molecular technologies.

The 34th BSMT Annual Scientific Symposium was held at the RAF Museum in Hendon, the first time we had used this prestigious venue. It was a great success with the added bonus that delegates could visit the Museum afterwards. The theme of the meeting was respiratory microbiology and a striking feature was demonstrating the increasing disconnect between traditional culture based methods, which are still the mainstay of nearly all diagnostic microbiology labs for diagnosing infection, and the number of commercial molecular tests available.

Full use was made of the increased space available, which permitted a record attendance of 150 delegates and a greatly increased trade exhibition.

A comprehensive write-up was published in the August editions of Pathology in Practice and an overview appeared in The Biomedical Scientist.

Read the Evaluation Report on the Symposium below.

Evaluation Reports

View the Evaluation Report on the 2019 Annual Scientific Symposium here

View the Evaluation Report on the 2018 Autumn Symposium in Liverpool here

View the Evaluation Report on the 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting here

View the Evaluation Report on the 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting here

View the Evaluation Report on the 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting here

View the Evaluation Report on the 2015 Annual Scientific Meeting here

View the Evaluation Report on the 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting here

View the Evaluation Report on the 2013 Sheffield Symposium here

Responding to the Evaluation Reports

The BSMT committee is very pleased with the feedback from delegates on the scientific meetings where over 90% of those completing the form scored the content, speakers and venue very highly. Praise from delegates included:
Excellent speakers
Professional presentations in high profile establishment with excellent Chairs
Excellent trade show and opportunity for networking
Good food
Variety of topics

Please follow the link to find out about the criticisms and how we are responding!

About Us:

The BSMT is a not-for-profit organisation of healthcare scientists and medical microbiologists working mainly in the NHS and Public Health England. The society's aim is to promote an exchange of information on laboratory practices in clinical microbiology and it does this mainly by organising an annual scientific conference every May in Colindale and every other year holds an autumn symposium in a regional venue.

The BSMT was founded in 1985 by microbiologists from a widespread geographical area in the UK with a common interest in antimicrobial susceptibility sensitivity testing and with concerns about the plethora of methods and the need for validation of procedures. Since then, the BSMT has become broader in its interests and covers many different aspects of microbial technology and management. The BSMT has complementary roles by offering grants to support laboratory based education and facilitating consultation of microbiology guidance / policies via this website.

In 1986, the Society produced a Handbook for Multipoint Methods which is available for download.

Laboratory Education Grants

The BSMT offers Laboratory Education Grants of up to £1000. Ideally, these will support the practical side of laboratory-orientated education. For example, they may be used to purchase consumables or commercial kits used in the project module of microbiology courses.

Grants will be awarded on the basis of the application’s quality and its relevance to diagnostic microbiology. Submissions should include a budget breakdown of costs.

If you would like to apply, please fill out the Laboratory Education Grants Application Form and post it to the address in the form. If you would like to discuss an application in advance of applying, please contact Sally Lowe at

Invitation to Comment on UK Standards for Microbiology Investigations

All microbiologists are invited to comment of the UK Standards for Microbiology Investigations (SMIs).
To access current SMIs and documents under consultation follow the following link on the PHE website: UK Standards for Microbiology Investigations.
To access documents "under consultation" please go to the following link Publications: Consultations.

Additional information on the UK Standards for Microbiology Investigations can be viewed here.

Past Events:

Over the past few years, the BSMT has run several very successful annual scientific meetings at the Centre for Infections, Colindale, in North London.


Contact the BSMT at