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Directing Biosynthesis VII

1 - 3 July 2024, Birmingham, United Kingdom

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Together with the organizing committee and the Royal Society of Chemistry, I would like to extend a warm invitation to join us in Birmingham in July 2024 for the next edition of the Directing Biosynthesis series. Established in 2006, and now in its seventh iteration, Directing Biosynthesis is a key conference for the community of researchers interested in diverse aspects of biosynthesis.
As in the past, this conference will bring together established researchers, early-career scientists, post-graduate students and members of industry to share and discover cutting-edge research, reconnect with colleagues and establish new collaborations. Ample opportunities will be provided for both networking and discussion, as well as for poster presentations by younger researchers. 
On behalf of the scientific committee, I look forward to welcoming you to Birmingham in 2024.
Kira J. Weissman, University of Lorraine


  • Genetics, enzymology and structural biology of natural product biosynthesis 
  • Genome and microbiome mining, microbiome engineering 
  • Synthetic biology and metabolic engineering
  • Chemical ecology and computational approaches for assessing natural products/enzyme functional diversity 
  • Industrial applications of natural products and biosynthetic enzymes

The Chemistry and Biology of Natural Products Symposium XVII - University of Warwick

Directing Biosynthesis VII will be followed on Thursday 4 and Friday 5 July 2024 by The Chemistry and Biology of Natural Products Symposium XVII, a 2 day symposium dedicated to presentations by PhD students, postdocs and other early career researchers. Registration for the two meetings is separate, please see the symposium link for further details.
Abstract Submission
Directing Biosynthesis VII  will cover all aspects of microbial, plant and marine natural products research, including:
  • Genetics, enzymology and structural biology of natural product biosynthesis 
  • Genome and microbiome mining, microbiome engineering 
  • Synthetic biology and metabolic engineering
  • Chemical ecology and computational approaches for assessing natural products/enzyme functional diversity 
  • Industrial applications of natural products and biosynthetic enzymes

Oral abstracts - closed

Submit your abstract before 5 February 2024

Poster abstracts - closed

Submit your poster abstract before 22 April 2024

Posters are displayed throughout the meeting and are in person only. 

Additional information

Authors will be notified of the outcome of the review process within about 4 weeks of the submission deadline. The abstracts should be no longer than one A4 page in portrait layout. Please ensure you provide the details of the presenting author and indicate whether you are submitting an abstract for oral or poster presentation.

Planning your trip

We encourage delegates who are planning to attend events in person to arrange suitable travel and accommodation insurance, which should include cover for the postponement or cancellation of travel caused by regulations and guidelines relating to Covid-19. We also recommend considering flexible travel and accommodation booking options where possible.

In-person registration includes:
  • Attendance at all scientific sessions
  • Attendance at the poster sessions 
  • Refreshments throughout the meeting and lunch on all three days
  • Attendance at the poster drinks reception
  • Access to recordings of all scientific sessions post-event
In-person registration fees are as follows (subject to VAT at the prevailing rate):
Early bird Standard
Member £375 +VAT £425 +VAT
Non-member* £475 +VAT £525 +VAT
Student member £250 +VAT £300 +VAT
Student non-member* £285 +VAT £335 +VAT
Conference dinner £55 +VAT £55 +VAT
Accompanying person £80 +VAT £80 +VAT

Please note accommodation is not included in the in-person registration fee.

Virtual registration includes:
  • ​Live streaming of all scientific sessions 
  • Access to recordings of all scientific sessions post-event 

Virtual registration fees are as follows (subject to VAT at the prevailing rate):
Member £130 +VAT
Non member* £155 +VAT
Student member £70 +VAT
Student non member* £95 +VAT

*For non-member registrants, affiliate membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry until the end of 2024 is available, the affiliate membership application will be processed and commence once the registrant has attended the event.

Conference dinner

This will be held on Tuesday 2 July 2024 at the Edgbaston Park Hotel.  The cost to attend is £55 +VAT, you can book your place during registration.

Accompanying person

If you would like to bring a guest to the conference, this can be done during the registration process. There will be a charge of £80 +VAT which will include all lunches and refreshments. The fee does not include attendance at any scientific sessions or the conference dinner.


The Royal Society of Chemistry is keen to encourage and enable as many people as possible to attend our events, to benefit from the networking opportunities and the chance to hear talks from leaders in the field. If you would like to discuss accessibility, please contact us to discuss your requirements so that we can enable your attendance.
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Terms and Conditions for Events run by the Royal Society of Chemistry


Grants for carers

With our Grants for carers, you can apply for up to £1,200 per year to help you attend a chemistry-related meeting, conference or workshop or a professional development event. This money would be used to cover any additional costs you incur, paying for care that you usually provide.  Please visit the website for further information and eligibility criteria.

Accessibility grants

With our Accessibility grants, you can apply for up to £1,200 per year to help with the cost of specific support to attend a chemistry-related meeting, conference, workshop or professional development event. This support might be any form of equipment, service, or other personal expense associated with meeting your access needs.

Researcher Development and Travel Grants

If you are an RSC member and you are one of the following:
  • a PhD student actively undertaking a PhD course in the chemical sciences; 
  • a researcher in the chemical sciences (including post docs, research technicians and research assistants), working in academia, industry or any sector, within 10 years of leaving full time education (at the time of the application deadline).
You can apply for up to £500 to support your participation in this event.

Please note it is not necessary to have confirmation of abstract acceptance before applying for a Researcher Development and Travel Grant and we encourage you to apply as early as possible. 
Please see the website for up-to-date information on eligibility, how to apply and submission deadlines.
Researcher Development and Travel Grants can be applied for in addition to Grants for Carers and Assistance Grants.

Scientific programme

A PDF of the programme outline can be downloaded from the Downloads section at the top of the page.

Poster sessions

Monday 1 July at 17:10 (BST) - odd numbers
Tuesday 2 July at 13:50 (BST) - even numbers
In-person poster sessions will take place on the Monday and Tuesday at the above times. Posters can also be viewed during the lunch and refreshment breaks.

Whether or not you are presenting a poster, we encourage you to attend these sessions as they are your opportunity to discover and discuss new work, network with your peers, create new connections and collaborations, and (if you are a presenter) answer questions from the poster judges. 

Conference banquet

Tuesday 2 July at 19:30 (BST)
Edgbaston Park Hotel - a short walk from the conference venue

The cost is £55 plus VAT, please indicate if you would like to attend. Places are strictly limited.

Careers consultations

Slots will be available to book via the link in the Introduction section of this page.
A qualified career and professional development adviser for the Royal Society of Chemistry will be available for free one-to-one, confidential consultations on any aspect of your career.
Consultations are available for all meeting attendees on 2 and 3 July, and can be booked using the link on this page.
Your consultation will be for 15 minutes and could include:
  • Considering your next career step
  • CV checks
  • Job searching strategies

Talk on funding for ECR's

Wednesday 3 July at 9am - main lecture theatre
How to fund the transition to independent researcher
Finding someone to fund your ideas is crucial for all academics, and for postdoctoral researchers looking to make the jump to an independent research career this can be a major sticking point. This session will offer five essential tips for securing funding for your research.
Exhibitors & supporting organisations
A selection of sponsorship opportunities are available for companies who would like to promote their activities at Directing Biosynthesis VII.

If you would like more information about sponsoring the Directing biosynthesis VII, please contact the Commercial Sales Department at the Royal Society of Chemistry on

We would like to thank the following companies for thier support: Sponsorship Menu
University of Birmingham

Bramall Music Building, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Please see the links for directions to  the Edgbaston campus and a map.   

The University has it's own train station and is a 5 minute connection from Birmingham New Street or a 10 minute taxi ride.
Edgbaston Park Hotel is a short walk from the University Campus.  

Kira Weissman (Chair), University of Lorraine, France

Kira J. Weissman holds a BS from Stanford University, and MPhil and PhD degrees in chemistry from the University of Cambridge, UK. Her PhD and post-doc work was supported by a number of competitive fellowships, including the Churchill Scholarship, and a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship. She is currently Professor of Enzymology (PR Ex1) at the Université de Lorraine, Nancy, France, where she carries out research on the mechanistic enzymology, structural biology and synthetic biology of modular polyketide synthase (PKS) and allied multienzyme systems. She is the author of 93 primary publications, reviews, commentaries, book chapters and popular science articles (h-index (WoS): 34), has presented numerous invited conference talks and seminars, reviews regularly for over 30 international journals (including Nature, Nat. Chem., Nat. Chem. Biol., Science, etc., is editor-in-chief (2020) of the RSC’s chemical biology book series, frequently evaluates grant (e.g. ERC) and promotion applications, and is co-head of the LUE Bioeconomy, Biomolecule Science and Engineering (B2SE) program (currently 23 UL laboratories and 19 partner companies).

Sarah Barry, Kings College London, United Kingdom

Sarah is an Associate Professor in Chemical Biology in the Chemistry Department at King's College London. Her research interests are in understanding bacterial metabolism to tackle antimicrobial resistance and utilising microbial enzymes as biocatalysts towards sustainable chemistry.  A major element of her group’s work is focused on microbial natural products including understanding the enzymology of antibiotic peptide biosynthesis, the role natural products play in bacterial pathogenicity and developing new methods to produce antibiotic natural products.

Matt Crump, University of Bristol, United Kingdom

Matt Crump is Professor of NMR and Structural Biology at the University of Bristol. He was appointed as a lecturer in NMR at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Southampton (1999–2002) before taking up his current post in biological NMR at the University of Bristol (2003–2024). His major focus is on structural and mechanistic aspects of natural product biosynthesis that began with reporting the first polyketide related protein structure in 1997 and continues with NMR and X-ray crystallography of natural product enzymes and their interactions with intermediates.

  • Dominic Campopiano University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Hai Deng University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom

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