Society for General Microbiology

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Society for General Microbiology
Society for General Microbiology Logo.png
Society for General Microbiology Logo
Abbreviation SGM
Motto A world in which the science of microbiology provides maximum benefit to society
Formation 1945
Legal status Not-for-profit organisation
Purpose Microbiology
  • Charles Darwin House, 12 Roger Street, London, WC1N 2JL
Region served
4000 microbiologists
Chief Executive
Peter Cotgreave
Main organ
Society for General Microbiology
Website Society for General Microbiology

The Society for General Microbiology (SGM) is a learned society based in the United Kingdom with a worldwide membership based in universities, industry, hospitals, research institutes and schools. It is the largest learned microbiological society in Europe.[1] Interests of its members include basic and applied aspects of viruses, prions, bacteria, rickettsiae, mycoplasma, fungi, algae and protozoa, and all other aspects of microbiology. Its headquarters in Charles Darwin House, London.[2] The society's current president is Prof. Nigel Brown.[3] The Society is a member of the Science Council.[4]


The society was founded on 16 February 1945. Its first president was Alexander Fleming.[5][6] The SGM's first academic meeting was in July 1945[7] and its first journal, the Journal of General Microbiology (later renamed Microbiology), was published in 1947.[5][6] A symposium series followed in 1949, and a sister journal, the Journal of General Virology, in 1967.[6] The society purchased its own headquarters in Reading in 1971, after initially sharing accommodation with the Biochemical Society in London.[5] In 2014 the Society moved to Charles Darwin House, London,[2] sharing the premises with several other learned societies.


The SGM currently organises a large Annual Conference and a number of smaller Focused Meetings, which cover a specific microbiology discipline. It publishes a magazine, Microbiology Today[8] (formerly SGM Quarterly), and academic journals in virology and microbiology:

  • International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology[9]
  • Journal of General Virology[10]
  • Journal of Medical Microbiology[11]
  • Microbiology[11]
  • JMM Case Reports[12]

Society Prizes[edit]

The Society for General Microbiology awards a range of prizes[13] in recognition of significant contributions to microbiology.

Society for General Microbiology Prize Medal In 2009, the Society announced the Society for General Microbiology Prize Medal, awarded annually to a microbiologist of international standing whose work has had a far-reaching impact beyond microbiology. The first medal was awarded to Stanley Prusiner. The recipient of the Prize Medal gives a lecture based on the work for which the award has been made, which is usually published in a Society journal.

The Marjory Stephenson Prize is awarded annually for an outstanding contribution of current importance in microbiology. The winner receives £1000 and gives a lecture on his/her work at a Society meeting. The lecture is usually published in a society journal. Marjory Stephenson was the second president of the SGM (1947–1949) and a distinguished pioneer of chemical microbiology.[14]

The Fleming Prize Lecture is awarded annually to recognise outstanding research in any branch of microbiology by a microbiologist in the early stages of his/her career. Sir Alexander Fleming was the first President of the Society (1945-1947) and received a Nobel Prize for his discovery of penicillin.

The Sir Howard Dalton Young Microbiologist of the Year Competition is presented annually to an SGM Member who is a PhD student or early-career postdoctoral researcher. The competition is judged on the participants’ oral or poster presentations at SGM conferences. The prize was renamed in 2009 in honour of the late Howard Dalton.

SGM organises a competition each year for PhD students and postdoctoral researchers who have completed their PhD within the last two years. The award are nominated to enter based on their performance at oral and poster presentations during recent SGM conferences. All finalists receive one year's free membership of the SGM along with transport costs to and from the conference at which the finals are held. Three cash prizes of £500, £200 and £100 are awarded to the winner and two runners up. The prize was renamed in 2009 in honour of the late Howard Dalton.


  1. ^ "SGM: Home". Homepage. Society for General Microbiology. Retrieved 2013-09-24. 
  2. ^ a b "Charles Darwin House > Home". 
  3. ^ "Members". 
  4. ^ "The Science Council". 
  5. ^ a b c "SGM : About SGM : History". Homepage. Society for General Microbiology. Retrieved 2013-09-27. 
  6. ^ a b c Postgate J (July 1995). "Fifty years of the SGM". Trends in Microbiology 3 (7): 249–50. doi:10.1016/S0966-842X(00)88935-0. PMID 7551634. Retrieved 2013-09-24. 
  7. ^ "SGM : About SGM : Introduction". Society for General Microbiology. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  8. ^ Society for General Microbiology. "Microbiology Today - Society for General Microbiology". 
  9. ^ Society for General Microbiology. "International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology". 
  10. ^ Society for General Microbiology. "Journal of General Virology". 
  11. ^ a b Society for General Microbiology. "Journal of Medical Microbiology". 
  12. ^ "JMM Case Reports". 
  13. ^ Society for General Microbiology. "Prize Lectures". 
  14. ^ "SGM : Grants & Prizes : Prize Lectures : Marjory Stephenson Prize Lecture". Homepage. Society for General Microbiology. Retrieved 2014-05-28. 

External links[edit]