Virus Genomics, Evolution and Bioinformatics

6–8 November 2024

Wellcome Genome Campus, UK and Virtual


Building on the success of previous VGE conferences, our 5th meeting on virus genomics and evolution will also showcase cutting-edge use of bioinformatics to answer questions relevant to genomics and the evolution of viruses.

The meeting will focus on how viruses adapt and evolve in and between hosts, as well as exploring recent developments in virus epidemics and outbreaks. Discussions will cover bioinformatics in virus public health and upcoming therapeutic approaches to viruses. Viruses of plants and animals will be highlighted, as will zoonoses and the impact of viruses in the changing world.

The programme will include podium presentations selected from abstracts submitted on the broad themes of the conference. Posters and poster-pitch talks will provide opportunities to present research findings or get feedback on ongoing projects.

The conference will bring together evolutionary biologists and bioinformaticians, who are developing methods and models to interrogate genomic data, along with international participants working in diagnostic and public health. There will be plenty of opportunities to establish collaborations through face-to-face networking with inclusive meals, and optional on-site accommodation.


The conference will run from approximately 12:50 GMT on Wednesday 6 November 2024 until approximately 14:00 GMT on Friday 8 November 2024.

Discussions will focus on a variety of exciting topics, including:

  • Adaptation and evolution: virus dynamics within and between hosts
  • Applied bioinformatics for public health
  • Epidemics and outbreaks
  • Plants, animals and zoonoses
  • Vaccines and treatments
  • Viruses in the changing world.

Organisers and speakers

Scientific programme committee

M. Kate Grabowski
Johns Hopkins University, USA

Christian Happi
Redeemer's University, Nigeria

Nick Loman
University of Birmingham, UK

Katrina Lythgoe
University of Oxford, UK

Keynote speakers

Tanja Stadler
ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Meera Chand
Public Health England, UK

Confirmed speakers

Samuel Alizon
CNRS, Paris, France

Karthik Anantharaman
Univeristy of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

Rachel Colquhoun
University of Edinburgh, UK

George Githinji
KEMRI | Wellcome Trust, Kenya

Emily Gurley
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA

Tanya Golubchik
University of Sydney, Australia

Sarah Hill
Royal Veterinary College, UK

C. Jessica E Metcalf
Princeton Univeristy, USA

Ingra Morales Claro
University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil

Thomas Peacock
The Pirbright Institute, UK

David Robertson
University of Glasgow, UK

Adi Stern
Tel Aviv University, Israel

Organisers - Wellcome Connecting Science

Scarlett Storr
Event organiser

Jane Murphy
Programme developer

Registration and accommodation

Registration deadline: 8 October (in person) | 29 October 2024 (virtual) at 23.59 GMT

In-person Registration
Student/trainee £396
Academic/non-profit organisation £496
Healthcare professional £496
Commercial/for-profit organisation £596
Onsite accommodation £214

The in-person registration fee includes:

  • Full access to scientific programme: oral and poster presentations, and networking on campus
  • Access to the online conference portal to network with online participants
  • Meals (lunch and dinner) and refreshments during the conference. Breakfast will be provided for delegates who have booked onsite accommodation.
  • Recordings of the live-stream sessions, which will be available ‘on-demand’ for four weeks after the event ends
Virtual Registration Fee
Delegates from LMICs* Free
Student/trainee £55
Academic/non-profit organisation £105
Healthcare professional £105
Commercial/for-profit organisation £165

Virtual registration fee includes:

  • Access to the virtual event portal (Log in details will be emailed a few days before the event starts)
  • Live-stream sessions, including posters and online networking channels
  • Recordings of the live-stream sessions, available ‘on-demand’ for four weeks after the event ends.

* To promote more inclusive scientific discussions with international colleagues at our conferences, delegates based in Lower and Middle-Income Countries can register for free (see list of countries here).

Payments: Please note that payment can only be made with Mastercard or Visa credit cards.


Booked accommodation is for the nights of  6 and 7 November 2024.
Please note: there is limited onsite accommodation and this will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis; therefore, early registration is recommended. If you wish to book campus accommodation either side of the conference dates, please contact the Hinxton Hall Conference Centre directly.

Accommodation services phishing scam – please be vigilant. More information.

Travel visas

Citizens of many countries can travel to the UK for a course without needing a visa.
Please check the UK government website for visitor information 

Confirmed attendees requiring a letter to support a visa application should contact the conference organiser.

Financial assistance

Bursary deadline: 30 July 2024 at 23.59 BST

Wellcome Connecting Science offers registration bursaries (usually up to 50% of the registration fee) to those who would benefit from attending the conference but face financial barriers to attending events.

To apply for funding support, please register and then select that you want to apply for a bursary. This will direct you to the online application form. Please be prepared to explain why you need support and how you will benefit from attending the conference. Once you have submitted the application form, you will be emailed an abstract portal link. Please use this to submit an abstract before bursary deadline. Applications without abstracts will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Final edits can be made to the abstract up until the abstract deadline. 

Priority will be given to PhD students, applicants from lower and middle income countries, or those from underrepresented / minoritised groups. Other early career researchers will be considered if funds allow.

Additional funding opportunities
Visit our support page for information on financial support, including carer grants to help delegates with the costs of caring for children or dependent family members while attending a course or a conference.


Abstract deadline: 10 September 2024 at 23:59 BST

We welcome abstracts from all areas relevant to the main themes of the meeting for both oral and poster presentations. Several oral presentations will be chosen from the abstracts submitted.

To submit an abstract, you must first register for the conference. Once your registration is completed, you will be emailed a link to submit to the abstract submission portal. If you wish to edit your abstract following submission, please use the link in the abstract acknowledgement email.

All abstracts must be submitted and, if desired, edited by the deadline. The scientific programme committee will then assess your abstract and you will be notified about 2 weeks after the deadline whether you have been selected to present an oral or poster presentation.

If you require acknowledgement that your abstract has been accepted earlier than this, please contact the conference organiser.

Poster boards onsite will accommodate 118 cm high by 84 cm wide (A0-portrait) of printed material. Accepted abstracts will appear in the conference programme book; poster board numbers will be allocated at the conference. All those accepted for a poster presentation will be given the opportunity to upload a short video describing their work.


If you are interested in supporting this meeting, please contact the conference organiser.


Feedback from our last Virus Genomics and Evolution conference in 2022:

‘This was by far one of the best scientific meetings I have attended. The structure of the conference, and particularly the structure of the poster sessions, meals, and breaks, provided an incredible opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with other attendees, beyond anything I have experienced in other scientific meetings’.

‘I’ve been to this conference since its inception. I’ve always found it to be excellent’.

By having a tightly focused theme and drawing phenomenal participants, this conference was hit after hit after hit’.

‘Excellent presentations and posters. Good networking. Amazing facilities’.

‘Amazing venue, that allowed the audience to get involved by asking questions, interacting in small groups, and networking freely’.

‘I thought the lightning talks were a good addition that I haven’t experienced at other conferences – I presented a poster and spoke to a couple of people who had been interested after hearing my lighting talk’.

‘Great variety of talks and presentations. Gathering different scientific areas together to understand patterns of viral evolution and monitoring that will help with disease and outbreaks prevention’.

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