Featured Speakers

2024 Featured Speakers

Jodi Lindsay, PhD is a Professor of Microbiology at St George’s, University of London, UK. Prof Lindsay is recognized as an international leader on Staphylococcus aureus research and in particular the study of bacterial population structure and evolution, horizontal gene transfer and antimicrobial resistance.  Her research has impacted on bacterial diagnostics and antimicrobial stewardship and revealed mechanisms of host-adaptation, selection, transmission and epidemiology. Please visit her website for further information.


Kumaran Ramamurthi, PhD is a Senior Investigator in the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA. His lab employs a combination of genetic, biochemical, cytological, and biophysical approaches to study bacterial cell division and morphogenesis, with an emphasis on understanding how proteins localize and assemble into large structures. His research was among the first to establish a geometric cue model for protein localization, whereby certain “shape-sensing” proteins localize to specific subcellular sites by recognizing membrane curvature. More recently, his lab has translated their understanding of fundamental cellular processes to construct synthetic bacterial spores that can be used as drug delivery vehicles. He co-chaired the World Microbe Forum in 2021, the American Society for Microbiology Microbe Meeting in 2022, and the 20th International Conference on Bacilli and Gram-Positive Bacteria in 2019. He also serves on the editorial boards of The Journal of Biological Chemistry and Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews and is Co-Director of the NIH-Johns Hopkins University Graduate Partnership Program. Please visit his website for further information.


JD Sauer, PhD is an Associate Professor of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Sauer’s research primarily focuses on the mechanisms by which the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes survives and thrives in the cytosol of host cells, and in turn how the host innate immune system recognizes and responds to infection by cytosolic bacteria. Among other things, the Sauer Lab has defined the critical role of the highly conserved PASTA kinase cell wall stress response master regulator, PrkA and its substrates, in L. monocytogenes cytosolic survival and virulence. From the host perspective, the Sauer Lab has demonstrated that infected phagocytes respond to cytosolic L. monocytogenes by producing the eicosanoid prostaglandin E2 which is essential for optimal CD8+ T-cell responses to L. monocytogenes infection and vaccination. For more information on these and other findings and ongoing projects, please visit the Sauer Lab website.


Bas Surewaard, PhD holds a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Wild Microbiome and Infections and is an assistant professor at the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases. His overall research objectives are to understand host-pathogen interactions during bloodstream infections, including the early immune response to infection and to identify the critical molecular mechanisms mediating bacterial pathogenesis. Dr. Surewaard leverages the power of imaging technologies including intravital microscopy to better understand infectious diseases. He is actively collaborating with pharmaceutical companies to find novel treatment options to treat bacterial diseases and throughout his training he has been funded by fellowships from CIHR, AIHS and the EU through Marie Curie-Skłodowska actions. Dr. Surewaard has published over 40 peer-reviewed papers, many of which appeared in high-impact journals in his field. Please visit his website for further information.