A Brief History of the BMMC – from the Baltic
to the Biennial Meeting on Microbial Carbohydrates

Beginning in 1988 until 2001, several meetings dedicated to the chemistry and biochemistry of carbohydrates were held annually at the Research Center Borstel and the University of Rostock, Germany. These conferences created a platform that encouraged presentation of studies performed by young researchers from the above institutions, and by colleagues from other institutions in Eastern Europe that were invited to attend.
In 2001, it was agreed to merge both symposia to form The Carbohydrate Workshop, which took place annually, alternating in Borstel and Güstrow. Each meeting focused on different themes. These in Borstel (2002, 2004) were devoted to the research on natural products and medicinal chemistry of mostly microbial carbohydrates, while the meetings in Güstrow (2001, 2003) centered around the synthetic carbohydrate chemistry. In 2000 a second platform for the exchange of the latest knowledge in carbohydrate chemistry and biochemistry emerged as the German-Polish-Russian Meeting on Bacterial Carbohydrates, with the initial symposium held in Borstel, Germany. In 2004, during the third meeting in Poland, the organizers agreed to merge The Carbohydrate Workshop and the German-Polish-Russian Meeting to form the biennial Baltic Meeting on Microbial Carbohydrates (BMMC). It has also expanded geographically, to inspire a wider community of researchers in a field of carbohydrates and microbial glycans as well as to share their expertise. To conform to this geographical expansion, as of the 9th BMMC the acronym expansion has been modified, and it stands for Biennial Meeting on Microbial Carbohydrates.
Conforming with the tradition, the BMMC agenda covers and attempts to explore several areas of microbial carbohydrates, spanning from structural chemistry, biochemistry, synthesis, biosynthesis to activity and protein-carbohydrate interactions. To avoid unnecessary limitations, the term “microbial” takes the broad sense of the word, indeed it is comprehensive of bacteria, viruses, archaea and microalgae, and whatever organism is in the micron range. This rich portfolio is typically complemented by reports and exchange of competence concerning the use of state-of-the-art techniques in the study of all sorts of glycans as well as the development of computational tools and databases to support the carbohydrate community.


Borstel & Rostock, Germany

Chair: Otto Holst & Christian Vogel


Borstel, Germany

Chair: Otto Holst


Moscow, Russia

Chair: Yuriy Knirel


Wroclaw, Poland

Chair: Andrzej Gamian


Rostock, Germany

Chair: Christian Vogel


Sigtuna, Sweden

Chair: Elke Schweda & Stefan Oscarson


Hyytiala, Finland

Chair: Mikael Skurnik


Suzdal, Russia

Chair: Yuriy Knirel 


Gdańsk, Poland

Chair: Zbigniew Kaczynski


Rostock, Germany

Chair: Christian Vogel


Dublin, Ireland

Chair: Stefan Oscarson


Pandemic delay

Chair: SARSCov-2


Napoli, Italy

Chair: Cristina De Castro & Anonio Molinaro


Wrocław, Poland

Chair: Andrzej Gamian & Jolanta Łukasiewicz