The Bacterial Locomotion and Signal Transduction (BLAST) group was founded in 1990 by Phil Matsumura, Joe Falke, Mike Manson, and Sandy Parkinson. For more information on BLAST history, see the excellent historical review written by Gerald Hazelbauer (Hazelbauer, G.L. Annu. Rev. Microbiol. 66, 285 (2012)). BLAST meetings were created to provide a way for the bacterial locomotion and signal transduction community to meet in alternate years when the biennial Gordon Research Conference on Sensory Transduction In Microorganisms is not held. Furthermore, the BLAST meetings are designed to:

  • Minimize meeting and travel costs to the greatest extent possible consistent with a high quality meeting, in order to maximize the opportunity for young scientists to attend.

  • Avoid an attendance cap to allow wide participation.

  • Provide preference for graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and early career investigators when choosing oral presentations for the meeting program.

  • Choose all talks from submitted abstracts (i.e. no invited speakers subsidized by other attendees).

  • Provide a meeting focused exclusively on prokaryotic microorganisms. 

BLAST gives out several awards to meeting attendees.

BLAST Board of Directors

Robert Bourret (Chair) [U. North Carolina, Chapel Hill]
Karen Ottemann [U. California, Santa Cruz]
Rasika Harshey [U. Texas Austin]
Alan Wolfe [Loyola U.]
Birgit Scharf [Virginia Tech]

Emeritus board members

Joe Falke [U. Colorado] 
Urs Jenal [Biozentrum, Basel, Switzerland)
Mike Manson [Texas A&M U.]
Sandy Parkinson [U. Utah]
Philip Matsumura (Emeritus Chair) [U. Illinois-Chicago]