9th October 2023

This December, BSAC will be hosting our annual in-person Antibiotic Resistance and Mechanisms (ARM) Workshop for Researchers at The Birmingham Conference & Events Centre, Birmingham, UK. Our 2023 workshop will offer members of the UK community researching mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance the opportunity to meet, to consolidate and extend the expertise held within individual laboratories in the United Kingdom. We caught up with Dr Ronan McCarthy, Senior Lecturer, Brunel University London and co-Chair of the ARM Programme Committee, to explain why ARM is such an important and unique event on the BSAC calendar.

Who is ARM for?

ARM is for scientists at all levels from Professors to Master’s and PhD students who are interested in antibiotic resistance. It is a great opportunity to network and discuss the latest developments in the field and potentially begin new collaborations.


What are you hoping to explore this year?

We have three main themes for this year’s workshop. The first session will explore “New Approaches to Tackling Infection” with talks focused on antimicrobial discovery, alternative antimicrobials, phage and the role of the microbiome in limiting infection. The second session will look at the “Mechanisms of Resistance” and discuss some of the latest insights into how microbes including viruses can evolve to overcome treatment. The third session will focus on “Tracking AMR” and will explore the evolutionary drivers of antimicrobial resistance and the role of genomics in AMR surveillance. We will also have a session dedicated to offered talks and outreach.


What do you think makes ARM different from other events?

The ARM workshop differs from other events in that you don’t have to be running between different sessions, everything happens in the one conference room. This makes networking much easier and means that you will have the opportunity to speak to nearly everyone who attends. The atmosphere is also quite different from other events in that early career researchers are actively encouraged and supported to ask questions during talks. Equally established and high-profile academics are encouraged to visit posters and chat to researchers about their work. The workshop networking dinner is also pretty unique as every attendee is assigned to a table, so the awkwardness or fear of finding people to have dinner with is taken away. Who sits at each table is carefully planned in advance so that each table is a mix of people from every career stage from Professors to first year PhD students, this always stimulates a great evening of discussions and networking. Something that isn’t quite as obvious about the workshop is that it is incredible value, with workshop registration, accommodation, all meals and networking dinner covered in the BSAC subsidised registration fee.


What do you see as the biggest benefits for attendees?

The biggest benefit for attendees is the opportunity to hear about the latest developments in antibiotic resistance research from leaders in the field in an atmosphere that supports networking and confidence building, particularly for early career researchers.


The Antibiotic Resistance and Mechanisms Workshop will take place in Birmingham 12-13 December 2023. See here for full details and registration.


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