In light of the current COVID-19 situation, PVMS has been postponed to Saturday, March 5th. We hope to be able to meet everyone in-person once the omicron-driven COVID-19 wave passes. Online registration will also be open till Friday, February 18th.

Feel free to reach out to us with any question and concerns at valleymicrobes@umass.edu

Keynote Speakers PVMS 2022

Dr. Katie Berry, Mount Holyoke College

Dr. Berry’s research focuses on sgRNAs and their interactions with proteins in disease-causing bacteria.

Dr. Batbileg Bor, Forsyth Institute

Dr. Bor studies the recently discovered TM7 bacteria and their parasitic relationship with their respective bacterial hosts.

Dr. Lesley-Ann Giddings, Smith College

Dr. Giddings research involves bioprospecting of extreme environments in search of bioactive agents and studying the enzymology of those agents.

Save the Date!

PVMS is back and in-person! PVMS 2022 will happen on Friday, January 21st, 2022.

The fee for attending (whether presenting or not) is $25 online and $30 at the door. Deadline to register is January 3rd, 2022. Abstracts for talks and posters are due on December 3rd, 2022. Please find the registration link on the Registration tab and abstract submission form under The Abstract Submission & Presentation Guidelines tab.

Stay tuned for more updates on the website and follow us on Twitter @valleymicrobes! We look forward to welcoming everyone to PVMS 2022!

PVMS 2021: A Gathering of Valley Microbes

Thank you for a successful PVMS 2020!

Mrinalini Ghoshal and Liv Dedon, Best Posters

Another great microbial symposium is in the books. Thanks to everyone who made PVMS 2020 a huge success! Over 150 people from all around the Pioneer Valley shared their latest microbial research. Relive the day in photos and catch up on Twitter at #PVMS2020. A special thank you to our keynote speakers, Drs. Wendy Mok, John Gibbons, and Peter Chien, for taking the time to share and discuss their research at this year’s symposium. And congratulations to all our PVMS 2020 winners! Best talk was awarded to Charles Bridges (UConn), with Irene Kurtz (UMass) receiving the runner-up. Best poster was tied between Liv Dedon and Mrinalini Ghoshal (both UMass), and Everett Webster (Mount Holyoke) and Sarah Osman (UMass) tied for runners-up.  

Charles Bridges, Best Talk

Stay tuned for PVMS 2021!

What’s next? PVMS 2021 will be here before we know it. Please stay tuned for a feedback form so we can continue to improve the symposium. If you have other feedback, or if you’re interested in being more involved, as an organizer or participant, feel free to email us at valleymicrobes@umass.edu. Here’s to another year of microbial discoveries, and we’ll see you next year at PVMS 2021!

Keynote Speakers for PVMS 2021

Dr. Alissa Rothchild

Department of Veterinary and Animal Science, UMass Amherst

Alveolar macrophages: pulmonary immune sentinels for Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Dr. Alissa Rothchild received her B.Sc. in Biology at Brown University and her Ph.D. in Immunology from Harvard University. Alissa was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Seattle Children’s Research Institute in the Aderem Lab. Alissa is interested in combining immunology, microbiology and computational approaches to investigate Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection of alveolar macrophages and how that impacts host immune response.

Dr. Roxanne Beinart 

Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island

Using population structure and host-symbiont specificity to inform knowledge of transmission dynamics in two obligate marine microbial symbioses

Dr. Roxanne Beinart obtained her BSc. at Cornell University and her Ph.D. in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University.

Dr. Mona Wu Orr

Department of Biology, Amherst College

Regulation of bacterial pumps by small membrane proteins

Dr. Mona Wu Orr received her B.A. in Biology at John Hopkins University and her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from University of Maryland, College Park. Mona was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institutes of Health.

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Dr. Matthew Moore

Department of Food Science, UMass Amherst

Applied and Environmental Methods for the Study, Detection, and Control of Human Noroviruses

Dr. Matthew Moore graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Food Science from Cornell University in 2010. He then received his Ph.D. in Food Science in 2016 under the supervision of Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus. After some time in the same lab as a postdoctoral research scholar, he then joined the National Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Team at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an ORISE postdoctoral fellow. He joined the Department of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst as an Assistant Professor in January 2018.

PVMS 2021



We are happy to announce that PVMS is back ! and we are going ‘virtual’ this year. The next iteration of our symposium will be held online on January 29, 2021.

 Interested potential participants may either click here to register, or select the registration link at the top of the page. We can’t wait to see you all again this year ! Additional details to follow shortly! Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@ValleyMicrobes) for all breaking symposium news.

Register for PVMS 2020 by December 9th!

The PVMS 2020 organizing committee is busy crafting an exciting symposium schedule!

PVMS 2020 will feature everything microbial under the sun, including host-microbe interactions, microbial evolution, protein folding, virology, microbial genetics, biochemical physiology, microbial ecology, biogeochemical cycling, and more!

We have an exciting lineup of keynote speakers that are sure to get you thinking about microbes in new ways.

Want to join the microbial celebration?

Be sure to register for PVMS by December 9th to unlock our early-bird special (only $20).

Announcing PVMS 2020 Keynote Speakers!

We’re pleased to announce the keynote speakers for PVMS 2020! We hope you will join us for what is shaping up to be an amazing event!

Don’t forget to submit your abstracts by November 1, and register by December 17!


Dr. Peter Chien (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UMass Amherst) studies regulated protein degradation and quality control using biochemistry, structural biology, and cell biology.

You won’t want to miss Dr. Chien’s recent work, where his team characterized the mechanism of DnaA recognition by Lon, which is crucial for bacteria to coordinate replication with nutrient availability and to halt the cell during acute stress.



Dr. Wendy Mok (Department of Molecular Biology and Biophysics, UConn) investigates how bacterial persisters survive lethal antibiotic treatments and contribute to infection relapse.

Read Dr. Mok’s recent work showing that after a single exposure to an antibiotic, bacterial fluoroquinolone persisters can develop enhanced antibiotic resistance.





Dr. John Gibbons (Department of Food Science, UMass Amherst) studies the impact of domestication on the genomes and phenotypes of beneficial microbes used in  traditional fermented foods, and the genetic basis of virulence in Aspergillus fumigatus.

Check out Dr. Gibbons’ recent work characterizing the population genomics of the opportunistic fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus.

PVMS 2019: A Microbial Celebration

Thank you for a successful PVMS 2019!

Thank you to everyone who made PVMS 2019 a resounding success! Over 130 microbially-inclined folks from all around the Pioneer Valley shared and discussed their cutting-edge research. Relive the day in photos and catch up on Twitter at #PVMS2019.

A big thank you to our keynote speakers, Drs. Mandy Mueller, Sarah Hird, and Marco Keiluweit, for sharing their fascinating work and microbial insights.

Special congratulations to our PVMS 2019 award winners, Elisa Bello (Best Talk, pictured left) and Korin Albert (Best Poster, pictured right).



Stay tuned for PVMS 2020!

What’s next? PVMS 2020 is coming up next January! If you have suggestions for PVMS 2020, or would like to help organize, please email us at valleymicrobes@umass.edu.

Here’s to another year of microbial discoveries, and we’ll see you next year!