Special session at next year’s Microbiology Society meeting

Kevin Waldron and I are organising a special “Microbial metal homeostasis: impacts on pathogenicity” session at next year’s Microbiology Society meeting (https://www.microbiologysociety.org/event/annual-conference/annual-conference-2018.html).

It will be held in Birmingham on the 11th of April. The entire conference is from the 10th-13th but it is also possible to register on a day-by-day basis.

There are opportunities for offered talks, so please encourage any interested PIs, post-docs and students to submit an abstract.

Best wishes

Duncan Wilson


University of Aberdeen (UK)



Action on AMD

Queen’s University Belfast’s Dr Imre Lengyel discusses new research which could pave the way to earlier treatment strategies for age-related macular degeneration.


The leading cause of sight loss in development countries, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is roughly twice as common as Alzheimer’s among older people – and growing. By 2020, it is projected to affect some 196 million people, rising to a massive 288 million by 2040. But while AMD can now be treated with an injection of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), there is currently no treatment available for the most common dry form of AMD.


More information can be found here.

Congratulations to winning team of “Microelements in Life Expectancy and Aging” #H2020

Project ID: 734931

Funded under: H2020-EU.1.3.3. – Stimulating innovation by means of cross-fertilisation of knowledge

Project details

Total cost: EUR 864 000

Coordinated in: France

Topic(s): MSCA-RISE-2016 – Research and Innovation Staff Exchange

Call for proposal: H2020-MSCA-RISE-2016 See other projects for this call

Funding scheme: MSCA-RISE – Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE)

Increased longevity with a high quality of life is desirable not only for personal life-satisfaction but also for reducing healthcare costs and for increasing the socioeconomic contributions of individuals in countries with ageing population demographics. Lifelong lifestyle has an important impact on health status in older age and adequate nutrition plays a key role in maintaining cellular functions within normal limits. Microelements such as zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) are essential for life and are involved in the normal functioning of thousands of proteins. The dysregulation of these metals leads to perturbed homeostasis, disease and diminished quality of life. In this study, the molecular mechanisms by which ageing
affects Zn and Cu absorption and excretion will be determined, and the consequent impact on metal flux and transport kinetics will be expressed by mathematical modelling. The project output will include a predictive model for the impact of ageing on Zn and Cu homeostasis, informing intervention with dietary advice or supplementation to improve longevity. The consortium combines intersectoral and interdisciplinary expertise from 3 EU and 2 partner countries with established links and clear potential for knowledge exchange and transfer of skills.

The consortium objectives are:
1. To determine the impact of dietary Zn and Cu on the microbiota and also age-related changes in the microbiota composition on the absorption of Zn and Cu.
2. To understand the influence of senescence on the regulation of Zn and Cu flux into and out of key cells controlling their homeostasis (gut mucosal cells, pancreatic acinar cells and hepatocytes) and its impact on the expression of related genes such as transporters.
3. To determine how senescence affects the transporter proteins, channels and chaperones involved in regulating Zn and Cu trafficking through the key absorptive and excretory cells affecting body metal homeostasis.


Prof. Irina Korichneva (UPJV, Amiens, France)


Prof. John H. Beattie (Rowett Institute, Aberdeen, UK)

Dr Vladimir Fetyukhin (IFLab, Kiev, Ukraine)

Prof. Miguel Arendondo (INTA, Santiago, Chile)

Prof. Marvin Reid (UWI, Kingston, Jamaica)