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News from IBA


Oct 10-13: IBA course on Vaccinology (UiB) 

Nov 7-11: Course on Molecular Mechanisms of Inflammation (NTNU)

Nov 14-15: IBA course on Pathogenic Immune Evasion Strategies (NTNU)

Nov 14-18: NDPIA course on Microbiota and Health (Sweden)

Nov 30 – Des 2: Advanced course on Scientific Illustrations (Online)                           

Des 12 -16: Scientific writing with Mathew Stiller Reeve PART 2 (Online)

Registration is OPEN for the IBA annual meeting in Oslo (October 27-28). Click here for more information!


The IBA graduate school runs into its last year in 2023

If you are planning to apply for a travel grant, please be aware that you need to complete your travel before November 2023 latest (so your travel claim can be processed in time)

NB! We have utilized all budgeted funding for travel grants in 2022. There are still openings available for activity in 2023. Read more and apply here.


June 30th is Tina´s last day as a IBA coordinator. She would like to thank all members and collaborators for three fantastic years with the research school!

Chris Hadjineophytou will be the IBA contact person until September 2022 after which we hope to have a new coordinator in place!

The second IBA Principles in Infection Biology course finished last week!

This year`s Principle of Infection Biology course was arranged in Tromsø at UiT The Arctic University of Norway from May 30 to June 3, 2022.

The course provided lectures on basic concepts of infection biology spanning the disciplines of host-parasite interaction and infections caused by bacteria, eukaryotic microbes and viruses. Lecturers included researchers of renown from the University of Virginia, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, the University of Helsinki and many more (full schedule can be accessed here).

During the 5-day course the 22 students from IBA and the Swedish National Doctoral Programme in Infection and Antibiotics research school (NDPIA) presented their projects through poster presentations.

STUDENT REPORT from the EMBL-EBI course ‘Introduction to RNA-seq and functional interpretation’

April 2022. Author: Ataur Rahman

My PhD project aims to establish a novel basic knowledge of antimicrobial and antibiofilm compounds from rich marine sources in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. This project applies a dual approach using marine bacteria for bioactive secondary metabolites and synthesized marine natural product mimics. Our aim is to find and evaluate exciting candidate molecules and document their potential for future drug development.

The discovery and characterization of such compounds may have the potential for clinical or industrial use. The work in this project involves a broad spectrum of experimental activities, from multi-omics to animal infection studies, and requires a good understanding of data analysis. I plan to conduct an RNA-seq experiment on bacterial biofilm, with and without novel antibiofilm compounds present, to determine the mechanism(s) of antibiofilm activity by observing the up- and down-regulation of genes. However, I did not have enough knowledge about the RNA-seq and how the RNA-seq data could be analyzed. When I saw that EMBL-EBI is offering a course on RNA-seq and IBA is funding the course, I applied and was lucky to get the funding for this course.

Picture 1: Participants in the course

It was a five-day course starting from 21st  February to 25th February this year. I was a bit anxious, as I did not have that much programming knowledge. The course was well designed with theoretical and practical sessions and was delivered by expert scientists from different parts of the world. The course participants were also from different countries. Although the course was held online, it was nice to meet new researchers who are also interested in learning about RNA-seq.

Picture 2: Busy with solving exercise

Previously, I planned to take service for the RNA-seq data analysis. However, now I am more confident in doing some coding and knowing different programs that I can use to analyze the RNA-seq data from my experiment. The author is grateful to IBA for funding, which helped to learn new techniques and meet knowledgeable scientists and future colleagues in RNA-seq. This course will help me assist with the functional analysis and interpretation of transcriptomic data that I plan to do in my PhD.

NDPIA course: Mosquito-borne pathogens and their vectors 

The National Doctoral Programme in Infections and Antibiotics (NDPIA) in Sweden invites IBA PhD and postdoc members to the PhD-level course on Mosquito-borne pathogens and their vectors 

When: 7 – 10 June, 2022
Where: Minor Groove, Umeå University, Sweden

Click here to see the preliminary programme

The aim of this NDPIA course is to provide an in depth understanding of pathogen-vector interaction and transmission dynamics of mosquito-borne pathogen. It will provide better understanding of mosquitoes as vectors of arboviruses and parasites most of which are zoonotic in nature and affect both humans and animals.
The course will include various aspects of the mosquito vector including; ecology, biology, population genetics, competence, capacity and how these factors influence transmission to the susceptible host. The course will also cover vector surveillance, identification, diagnostics, prevention and control, as well as application of high-throughput sequencing platforms in virus discovery.

Suggested ECTS:
1.5 ECTS. This must be discussed with your University. You will receive a certificate stating the suggested ECTS, your attendance and the workload.

Register by April 30th!

IBA will cover travel (up to 3500 NOK) and accommodation for IBA PhD, research track and postdoc members according to our guidelines.

The course size is limited to 20 students and NDPIA students have first priority. Your place in the course is not confirmed until you get a confirmation from us.

Read more and register on the NDPIA homepage.

Course: Creating Scientific Illustrations in Tromsø

April 25th – April 29th

Image: Colourbox

The course will cover:

  • Principles of design and visual communication
  • How to apply these principles to illustration and graphic design, which in turn will inform all visual material you might want to create, including; graphical abstracts, presentation slides, poster presentations, journal articles, graphs, data visualization, project logos, and outreach material.
  • Best practices for poster and slide presentation design
  • Step by step method on how to draw your own research
  • Introduction to sketching by hand
  • Crash course in digital illustration with Adobe Illustrator or Gravit

By the end of the course, you will have practiced the theory and methods discussed in class by creating an illustration of your own research. Taking your ideas from conceptualization to final digital artwork.

Lecturer. Pina Kingman is a biomedical illustrator and animator. She holds a BSc in Cell Biology and Genetics from the University of British Columbia and an MSc in Biomedical Communication from the University of Toronto.

Open for. All IBA members. Travel and accommodation will be funded for IBA PhD/research track students and postdocs only.

Deadline for application:
March 21st

Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance course

This five-day intensive course introduces antibiotic resistance from a microbial perspective and from a clinical – One Health perspective.

April 4-8th 2022 – Hjortviken Konferens, Sweden

The course gives an in-depth overview on

  • the modes of action of different antibiotics and how microbes resist the effects of the antibiotics,
  • diagnostic methods to detect known and novel resistance genes,
  • the origins of resistance genes and the biological cost of resistance for the microbe, and
  • modern methodology for new antibiotic development and alternative therapeutics for infectious disease

The course is available to all IBA and NDPIA members.

Registration deadline: February 9th
Abstract submission deadline: February 20th

Get the chance to discuss your research with colleagues and build your national and international scientific network!

Workshops on Creating Scientific Illustrations and Scientific Writing

March 14-18 2022: Creating Scientific Illustrations course

Do you want to use illustration as an effective communication tool?

Learn the essentials of graphic design and visual communication theory, drawing by hand and drawing digitally during this 5-day virtual course.

The course tuition is free for all IBA members. Course teacher: Pina Kingman

Registration deadline: 14 February

March 28-30 2022: Scientific Writing Workshop

In collaboration with Digital Life Norway Research School, IBA invites its members to join for a three-day workshop on scientific writing, tailor-made for PhD candidates and postdocs in biotechnology.

All expenses (travel, hotel, diet, and course fee) are covered for IBA PhD students/research track students and postdocs. Only five places are available for IBA members.

The course is held at Kirkebyfjellet in Meråker.

Registration deadline: 15 February.

NCMG meeting – December 9-10

The Norwegian Consortium for Microbial Genomics (NCMG) is a national network bringing together scientists with complementary expertise to exchange knowledge about transmission of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance. 

The next NCMG meeting will take place December 9-10, 2021 at 13:00-16:30 at Lovisenberg diakonale høgskole (and online). 

Due to the evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic these last weeks and the further social restrictions that are expected from the government this evening (Des 7), it has been decided to have the 5th NCMG meeting virtual. This means that the reception that was planned for Thursday evening is also cancelled.

IBA collaborates with NCMG, and several IBA members are presenting their work at the meeting. Please see link for detailed programme: PDF.

There is no participation fee. However, please note that IBA cannot cover any expenses for those who attend in person.

Please register using the following link: Registration NCMG.

For questions contact: Jorun Hill at NIPH.

Meeting place: Lovisenberg diakonale høgskole, Lovisenberggata 15B, 0456 Oslo, Room 201

Map and directions

More information:

(NB – the address stated in the registration form is no longer valid)

IBA Annual Meeting 2021

The IBA annual meeting took place  November 1st  and November 2nd 2021 at Thon Conference Universitetsgaten (TCU), Oslo and assembled more than 100 participants.

IBA Annual Meeting participants 2021

IBA congratulates Amanda Singleton & Olaug Bergum (NTNU) and Ragnhild S. R. Sætra (NTNU) for best poster and oral presentation prize, respectively.

Best poster prize: Olaug Elisabeth Torheim Bergum and Amanda Holstad Singleton for the poster on “Determining the Experimental Setup for Multi-Omics analysis of Bacterial Stress Responses”
Best oral presentation prize: Ragnhild Sofie Ragnhildstveit Sætra with the talk “Molecular mechanisms in Mycobacterium tuberculosis-infected

More information on the programme, keynote speakers and abstracts can be found in the meeting booklet under.

Organising committee: Özgün C. Onarman Umu (NMBU), Yngvild Wasteson (NMBU), Marina Elisabeth Aspholm (NMBU), Camilla Sekse (NVI), Alejandro Jimènez Melèndez (NMBU), Ephrem Debebe Zegeye (NMBU), Kirill Ovchinnikov (NMBU) and Marita Torrissen Mårli (NMBU).


News 💫

New contact info for IBA:

Grant for external courses (extended). For IBA PhD and research track students. Have you found a relevant external course at EMBL ,the Wellcome Genome Campus or Cold Spring Harbor (or elsewhere)? Please, apply here for IBA funding. New deadline for application: November 15th. This call is for courses taking place from October 2021 – April 2022. A new call will be opened in early 2022. 

Upcoming courses and events 


Academic Presentations. Nature Academy. October 25th – 26th. Virtual workshop where you learn how to make effective slides and posters, and to develop your verbal and non-verbal presentation skills. October 25th from 09-11 and 12-14. October 26th from 09-11. Please read more and register here: Open to all IBA members and associates!


IBA annual meeting – November 1-2. Oslo. We are looking forward to seeing you all in Oslo! This year´s annual meeting is arranged by IBA participants from NMBU. The deadline for registration has passed.

IBA/TTA Bioinformatics course – Level 2. November 3rd. This 3.5 h course is a continuation of IBA/TTA bioinformatics course level 1. Read more and sign up here. The course is open to all IBA members. Please note that due to the short length, IBA does not cover travel and accommodation. NB! Postponed

Communicating your Science to the Public. Nature Academy – November 8th and 9thThis virtual workshop provides attendees with practical strategies on how to communicate complex findings in an understandable manner for non-specialists. November 8th: 9-11 and 12- 14. November 9th: 9-11. Read more and register here: Open to all IBA members and associates!

IBA/TTA Bioinformatics course – Level 2. November 10th. This 3.5 h course is a continuation of IBA/TTA bioinformatics course level 1. The course is open to all IBA members.Keep the date, more information and registration link will follow later. Check the IBA course page for updated information. Please note that due to the short length, IBA does not cover travel and accommodation.

Pathogenic Immune Evasion Strategies – November 15th -16thTrondheim. This course will give an overview of the different ways of pathogens to evade the host immune system and more focused talks about specific pathogens and their evasion strategies. Read more and sign up here. Travel and accommodation are supported for IBA PhD students and research track students only. Registration deadline: October 15th.

Applying for Research Positions. Nature Academy – November 22nd – 23rdFinding the most appropriate research position for graduating students and post-docs completing their contract can be a formidable task. This workshop aims to give you the necessary skills to find and secure the right position for the next step in your career. November 22: 09-11 and 12-14. November 23: 9-11. Read more and register: Open to all IBA members and associates!

IBA/TTA Bioinformatics course – Level 3. November 23rd. This is a half-day course at UiO on prediction of 3D molecular structure using PyMol and other tools. Keep the date, more information and link for registration will follow later. Check the IBA course page for updated information. The course is open to all IBA members. Please note that due to the short length, IBA does not cover travel and accommodation for this course.

One Health Approach to Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. November 29th – December 3rd. NMBU Ås Campus. This course will review the microbiology, epidemiology and pathogenicity of some of the most common bacterial zoonotic pathogens in Norway. In addition, the course will introduce the use of modern genetic methods in surveillance, outbreak investigations and research relevant to public health, food safety and veterinary medicine. Read more and sign up here. Travel and accommodation are supported for IBA PhD students and research track students only. Suggested credits: 2 ECTS.


Course on Creating Scientific Illustrations. December 6th – 10th. Virtual. Do you want to use illustration as an effective communication tool? Learn the essentials of graphic design and visual communication theory, drawing by hand and drawing digitally during this one week course. Suggested credits: 2 ECTS. Read more and sign up here: If the course is full, places will be distributed to IBA PhD students/research track students > IBA postdocs > other IBA members. Deadline: November 15th. 

IBA/TTA Bioinformatics course – Level 3. December 15th. This is a half-day course at UiO on prediction of 3D molecular structure using PyMol and other tools. Keep the date, more information and link for registration will follow later. Check the IBA course page for updated information. The course is open to all IBA members. Please note that due to the short length, IBA does not cover travel and accommodation for this course.

Grant applications for IBA PhD / research track students

✈️ Travel Grants for Research Stays in Norway and abroad. IBA will take in rolling application from IBA PhD students (and research track students) through all the rest of 2021. Please read more and apply here.   

Course and Workshop Proposals Are you working in the field of infection biology and/or antimicrobials and carry an idea for a short course/workshop/event for this autumn that would fit for IBA members? Or maybe you would like to arrange a workshop for IBA members on transferrable skills? You can now apply for financial and administrative support from IBA! Please follow this link. New deadline for application: November 15th

Future activities under development

Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance Course 2022. Second offering of a high impact 5-day course that was first undertaken with the National Doctoral Program in Infection and Antibiotics of Sweden in 2018. The course is planned for spring/early summer 2022 (the precise dates are still under consideration). You can find the program from 2018 course here: