MSI Symposium


Welcome to the microbial world!


2022 Symposium Poster

Since its inception in 2004, MSI has sponsored and hosted an annual symposium for those in the Harvard and greater Boston communities. The spring event showcases magnificent research across a breadth of microbe-centric topics spanning environmental and biomedical sciences.

The 19th annual MSI Symposium has reached capacity.
Advance registration through the Harvard Box Office is now closed, and no registrations at the door will be accommodated.

Check back later this year for information about the 20th annual event in April 2023 - we hope you can join us for our anniversary symposium!

COVID-19 Policies

All current Harvard COVID policies for visitors will be followed.

  • Attendees must be masked when not eating or drinking
  • All attendees must attest to their current health status (e.g., no current infection, symptoms or recent exposure to others with COVID-19)
  • All attendees must show:
    • Harvard ID OR
    • Proof of up-to-date vaccination and booster against COVID-19, Including physical CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card, a photo of one’s card, or an official digital vaccine record like My Vax Records for those who received their vaccine in Massachusetts


Please bring a mask with you, as masking is required in the auditorium where the talks will take place. Masks are not required when eating or drinking in the atrium area (B100) where food is provided. However, if you need to spread out or prefer to eat outdoors, entrance-level indoor seating and patio space adjacent to Northwest will also be available.

Parking Directions & Information

MSI strongly recommends the use of public transportation to travel to the Symposium.  Northwest Labs is located at 52 Oxford Street in Cambrige.  View the Harvard Map here, and a Google Map here

Parking permits can be purchased through the Harvard Online Parking Portal (HOPPS)
Permits should be purchased in advance of arrival, and are not available at the lot itself.

The closest parking facility is the underground lot at 52 Oxford Street.  It is then a short walk to the symposium area
For GPS coordinates to the parking facility, here is the exact location of the garage.

Walking & Biking Directions

Northwest Labs is located at 52 Oxford Street in Cambrige.  
View the Harvard Map here, and a Google Map here

MSI strongly recommends the use of public transportation to travel to the Symposium.  Northwest Labs is a 10 minute walk from the Harvard Square T Station, and close to several bus lines, including the 77, 83, & 96.  Bike racks are conveniently located in several locations around the perimeter of the building. 

Not-driving directions from Harvard Square:  
Enter Harvard Yard.  Keeping the statue of John Harvard on your right, traverse diagonally through the yard and exit onto the Science Center Plaza. Continue following the directions below.

Not-driving directions from the Science Center Plaza:
From there, cross at the crosswalk (where Kirkland Street becomes Oxford Street) between Memorial Hall (on your right) and the Science Center (on your left).  Continue to the left down Oxford Street for a little over a tenth of a mile (~700 feet, or the length of two football fields).  On your right, there will be a large open green space, and you will see the Harvard Museum of Natural History.  Enter the green space, and Northwest Hall is the large glass building on your far left.  Enter the main doors by the plaza, and head downstairs underneath the large hanging fossil to reach the registration table. Click here for a map of the path from the Science Center to Northwest. 


Check-in Instructions

Check-in, which is required, begins at 8:20am in B100 and continues as needed throughout the day. Check-in takes place at the table near the stairs. There you will receive you welcome packet, which includes symposium wristband, nametag, schedule, and a beautiful art card featuring this year’s poster image.  


Refreshments, Lunch, & Reception

A reception will immediately follow the symposium at 6pm in the Northwest Labs lower lobby.  Advance registration was required to attend the reception. 

Snacks & coffee will be provided during the mid-morning and mid-afternoon social breaks.  

There will be a 75-minute break for lunch mid-day.  Harvard square is a short 10-minute walk through Harvard Yard - many lunch options can be found on the Harvard Square Business Association website. Food trucks also park on the plaza in front of the Science Center.  

Here are some of our favorite lunch spots in the walkable area:

Darwin's Ltd - 1629 Cambridge Street; 8a-3p (

Flour Bakery & Café: 114 Mt. Auburn Street; 8-6 (

Cardullos Gourmet Shop: 6 Brattle St; 11a-7p (

Clover Food Lab: 7 Holyoke St; 7a-6p (

Felipe’s Taqueria: 21 Brattle St; 11a-2a; (

Pinocchio’s Pizza: 20 Eliot St; 11a-1a; (


Post-Symposium Online Viewing

Synchronous streaming will not be offered for the 2022 Symposium. However, a selection of talks will be recorded and, in the future, made available online in MSI's growing collection of archived microbial science talks.