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The National Collection of Type Cultures Centenary in collaboration with the Microbiology Society’s 75th Anniversary

The UK’s Microbiology Society is currently celebrating its 75th anniversary. The aim of the founding members, which included Sir Alexander Fleming FRS and Marjory Stephenson FRS, was to bring together scientists working in all disciplines of microbiology and provide them with a common meeting ground, a forum to exchange ideas and instigate collaboration. 75 years later this aim remains central to the Society’s purpose, which is now the home a portfolio of peer-reviewed journals and online resources, issues grants to support research and organises numerous high-quality conferences themed on a variety of topics.

The Microbiology Society and NCTC share a similarity of remit in supporting the work of microbiologists and their research, and the histories of both organisations are intertwined. The inaugural council of the Society included early NCTC depositors Muriel Robertson FRS and A. W. Sableforth, and NCTC’s first director J. C. D. Ledingham among its number. NCTC’s first curator, R. St. John-Brooks was one of two of the Society’s first secretaries, and invited Alexander Fleming to become the Society’s first president. Fleming, from his early career through to the days of his role as Microbiology Society president, frequently used NCTC to further his research, from acquiring strains on which to demonstrate the activity of lysozyme to depositing several strains deemed to be of use to other microbiologists.

Today, as both NCTC and Microbiology Society are celebrating their 100th and 75th Anniversaries respectively, these interactions are captured and illustrated in a new digital collection launched by the Microbiology Society to celebrate its anniversary and founding, which includes correspondence between NCTC and Fleming, and Fleming’s order of strains from NCTC on March 13th 1920.

The October issue of the Microbiology Society’s Microbiology Today magazine includes a centenary message from the NCTC.

You can learn more about the Microbiology Society, here.

From Monday November 23rd 2020 the Microbiology Society will be hosting a week long digital event, Why Microbiologists Matter, composed of the Fleming Prize Lecture 2020, the Microbiology Society Outreach Prize Lecture, the Annual General Meeting and the Fleming Showcase lecture series.


October 2020

January 2020