Looking back at a fantastic 2017


From welcoming a record number of attendees from around the world to FEMS 2017 in Valencia to celebrating the 40th anniversary of FEMS Microbiology Letters to introducing new faces to the FEMS family, 2017 has been a spectacularly exciting year. It’s marked a year of change as we have continued to build on the solid foundations of our activities – our five journals, biennial Congress and extensive grants and awards programme – to maximize the impact of microbiology across Europe and beyond.

We could not have had such a fantastic year without you and as we look back at 2017, we thank every single one of you for getting involved in putting microbiology on the map.

2017 highlights
Thank you and farewell

We also extend a huge thank you to those departing the FEMS family for their valuable contribution and dedication to the microbiology community. We wish them all the best for the future and will greatly miss working with them:

Dr Frédérique Belliard | FEMS Journal Development Editor

“My journey with FEMS has been exciting, rich, always full of surprises and definitely not boring… FEMS is a diverse not-for-profit organisation that aims to have a durable impact on microbiology. In short, I have grown up and I will always be grateful to FEMS and colleagues to have given me space to develop.

I can proudly say I have worked on all 5 FEMS journals but my heart remains with FEMS Yeast Research and Pathogens and Disease. The yeast community has been more than welcoming and together we have brought FEMS Yeast Research to its deserved place in microbiology. I have had the privilege to work with two amazing FEMS Yeast Research Editor-in-Chiefs, Teun Boekhout and Jens Nielsen, as well as with Patrik Bavoil, the Editor-in-Chief of Pathogens and Disease.

I am also happy to have worked with two volunteers, Teja Širec and Tomasz Benedyk on the One Health Campaign to raise awareness within the microbiological community. One Health is something that makes sense to me, coming from a tiny village in the Caribbean but somehow most of us seem oblivious to the fact that human health, animal health and the environment are interlinked.”

Prof Per-Eric Lindgren | FEMS Chair of Meetings Board

“It’s been a very nice and good working spirit in the FEMS Board as the FEMS organization has changed and broadened. I have been mainly involved in the Congress and Congress organizing. Among a number of demanding and challenging tasks, we contracted a new Professional Conference Organizer based on building a partnership. All work within FEMS is collaboration, meaning collaboration within the Board and also collaboration with staff and member societies, so without collaboration, there will be no success.”


Prof Joanna Verran | FEMS Member-at-large (Education)

“I was co-opted onto the Board to develop initiatives and activities in Education and Public Engagement. We hosted education sessions in the two most recent Congresses, which were extremely successful: over 300 delegates attended the Valencia event, and we also received almost 50 poster abstracts. I really feel that Education and Public Engagement have become core functions within FEMS and I am delighted to have played some part in the beginning of this work. I am sure it will continue to develop in the future.”


Prof Jim Prosser | FEMS Publications Manager

Jim is now part of the Programme Committee for FEMS 2019

“My role has changed over the six years that I’ve been Publications Manager; it has gone from an executive role, with hands-on activities, to become more strategic. One of the things that I’ve had to address is the changing publications landscape and the impact of that change on publications, on FEMS and throughout microbiology and biology. There are other changes on the horizon that will impact on the journals and which the new director will have to deal with. My advice in a single sentence would be to try and avoid thinking too much about the nitty gritty detail, and to focus on the big questions, the strategic issues that are going to be important for the next 3-6 years, because the role of the Board of Directors is now much more strategic, and medium and long-term aims must be clarified and addressed.”

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