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

In the years 1988-2001, several meetings dedicated to the chemistry and biochemistry of carbohydrates occurred annually at the Research Center Borstel and the University of Rostock, Germany. Both 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 early 2001, it was agreed to merge both symposia to form a new meeting termed 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). The meetings were then organized and run biennially. It has also expanded geographically, to prompt a wider community of researchers in a field of carbohydrates and microbial glycans to share their expertise. To conform to this geographical expansion, as of the 9th BMMC the acronym expansion has been slightly modified, and it stands for Biennial Meeting on Microbial Carbohydrates.
In line with the tradition of this meeting, the BMMC topics cover and attempt to explore the many areas of microbial carbohydrates, spanning the themes from structural chemistry, biochemistry, synthesis, biosynthesis, 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 overly rich portfolio is typically complemented by reports and exchange of expertise on the use of state-of-the-art techniques in the study of carbohydrates and all sorts of glycans as well as the development of computational tools and databases to support the carbohydrate community.


Borstel, 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