Department of MMI Successfully Hosts Inaugural Retreat

In a gathering that showcased the vibrant spirit of academic camaraderie, the Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison held its very first annual department retreat on Wednesday, August 23, 2023. With a remarkable 90% attendance from the department, the event marked an exciting milestone in fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing among the community.

Department Chair, Dr. Vanessa Sperandio, begins the retreat by giving a “State of the Department” address.

The setting for this dynamic exchange of ideas was none other than the iconic Memorial Union on the UW campus. The gentle breeze from Lake Mendota and the historic aura of the venue added an extra touch of inspiration to the day’s proceedings.

The retreat’s schedule was designed to be as engaging as it was informative. In line with the department’s commitment to fostering a culture of collaboration, the retreat served as an avenue to learn about the ongoing projects in other labs. Attendees were treated to a series of concise, yet impactful, talks delivered by esteemed faculty members, dedicated research staff, and aspiring trainees. Each presentation, lasting around 20 minutes, was like a snapshot of the ongoing research endeavors within the department. From the latest breakthroughs in medical microbiology to the intricacies of immunological explorations, the talks painted a vivid tapestry of the diverse pursuits driving the department’s progress.

Assistant Researcher, Daniel Pensinger, discusses research during the retreat poster session.

A highlight of the event was the poster session, where trainees had the opportunity to showcase and discuss their research projects. The room was abuzz with energy as these future leaders of the field shared their findings, theories, and questions. This interactive platform not only encouraged intellectual exchange but also planted the seeds for potential collaborations across different labs and research avenues.

The Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology’s inaugural annual retreat not only celebrated the accomplishments of its members but also marked the beginning of a tradition that promises to propel the field of medical research to new heights. As attendees left with fresh insights, promising connections, and a renewed sense of purpose, the echoes of collaboration reverberated, promising exciting breakthroughs on the horizon.