Summer Schools in Applied Molecular Microbiology

John Innes/Rudjer Bošković
Summer Schools in Applied Molecular Microbiology

Likely content and format of the 2018 course

  • isolation and screening of metabolite-producing microorganisms;
  • diversity of specialised metabolite producers;
  • natural product biosynthesis;
  • natural products in microbial communities and cell-cell interactions;
  • natural products in symbioses with higher organisms;
  • regulation of natural product biosynthesis, including intra- and extracellular signalling;
  • metagenomics and heterologous pathway expression;
  • diverse microbiomes;
  • genomics mining for novel natural product discovery;
  • prediction and characterisation of biosynthetic pathways in silico and experimentally;
  • activation of transcriptional silent cryptic gene clusters
  • pathway engineering.

Hands-on computer workshops will be a unique aspect of the course. Next generation sequencing of microbial genomes and communities can now be accomplished in a matter of days and is becoming increasingly affordable. The two workshops will focus on the latest bioinformatic tools that greatly facilitate the handling, interrogation and exploitation of such sequences, including genome assembly and analysis, and the recognition of the diverse array of gene clusters for specialised metabolism. Analyses will include the identification of functional catalytic domains, and prediction of substrate specifity and stereochemical control within a large modular polyketide synthase gene cluster.

A typical working day will include lectures in the morning, computer workshops and small-group discussions in the afternoon, and guest talks and poster sessions in the evening; all participants will be asked to bring a poster. There will be free time on the working days and one day will be devoted to an all-day excursion. There will be a welcome mixer party on the day of arrival and a farewell party on the final evening before departure the next day.

The course will be limited to 40-45 participants.


The 2018 Summer School will be held at the Inter-University Centre (IUC) in Dubrovnik. The Centre has bedroom accommodation on the top floor and fine facilities for lectures and seminars, computer teaching, poster viewing and spaces for small group discussions and relaxation. Swimming from a rocky bathing spot is a few minutes' walk from the Centre and the Old City of Dubrovnik is also very close. A sandy beach is less than 30 minutes' walk away. Transfers from the airport are easy: the airport bus to town stops very close to the IUC.