Dear Colleagues and Friends, It is our great pleasure to welcome you to the 4. Joint Conference of the Association for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM) and the Society of Hygiene and Microbiology (DGHM). It has become a good tradition that scientists of both societies meet each other regulary to present and exchange the latest results and ideas. The topics of the main sessions of this meeting reflect how modern and broad microbiological research and application is in Germany. Leading international and national scientists will present their newest data. The scientific program will bring together experts from the fields of basic science in microbiology, environmental microbiology, technical microbiology, medical sciences and diagnostics and many more. Especially young scientists are encouraged to highlight their results in a large number of concurrent sessions in addition to the plenary sessions. Prof. Gerold Barth & Prof. Volkhard Kempf The venue of the conference is this time the International Congress Center Dresden located right on the banks of the River Elbe within walking distance of the historical center of Dresden. Constructed by the Kings of Saxony, flattened by bombs at the end of World War Two, and carefully reconstructed during the last decades Dresden is again one of the most beautiful and famous baroque cities in Europe. This “Elbflorence” has many wonderful sights worth seeing like the Semperoper, the rebuilt Frauenkirche, the Zwinger, as well as more than 30 museums among them the Royal Treasure Chamber known as the Green Vault or the “Alte Meister” gallery where Raphael’s “Sistine Madonna” can be admired. Dresden as a modern city is nowadays still a continuously growing city with a fast developing industry, especially in electronics but also in biotechnology, and most important a center of excellent scientific research and education. At the Technische Universitaet Dresden about 37,000 students are enrolled and together with many Institutes of the Max Planck and Frauenhofer Societies as well as of the Helmholtz Association a broad scientific platform exists for international research and education. We hope that this meeting will be interesting and stimulating and that you will return home with lasting impressions of Dresden especially with new good ideas for your research and new as well reinforced established interactions with colleagues and friends. We cordially invite you to come to Dresden at Germany’s East border and we are confident that you will enjoy your stay here.