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Harvard Retreat 2018

Three i-Target doctoral students got the great chance to meet their immunology colleagues in Boston.

In October 2018 the i-Target doctoral students Alina Lohner (AG Subklewe), Saskia Schmitt (AG Hopfner) und Maryam Schübel (AG Kobold/Endres) got the change to attend the Harvard Immunology retreat. The retreat is part of the Harvard Immunology program and this year it takes place in Lincoln, New Hampshire, USA. In addition to the interesting lectures and poster presentations there were also many opportunities to get in touch with the students and professors.

Harvard 2018 

The three students of the international doctoral program „i-Target“ arrived few days before the retreat in Boston and had time to explore this impressive city. While running down the freedom trails they got to know the city’s historic background and admired the stark contrast between old and new Boston.

During their stay Alina, Maryam and Saskia were hosted by the students of the Harvard immunology program, who also organized this year’s retreat. The day before they left for Lincoln, their hosts gave them tours of various Harvard University facilities. The main campus in Harvard square, where the undergraduates were taught, remined them of Britain and movies like Harry Potter. The Harvard School of Medicineimpressed by the large building with pillars, similar to a Greek temple.

In addition, the i-Target students were given the opportunity to visit two of the laboratories where doctoral students work on their research projects. One of the labs was near the MIT, the second major university in Boston, the other was near Harvard Medical School and offered them a great view of Boston from the 10th floor.

At the informal get together on the eve of the retreat the three doctoral students met the visiting students from Sweden and France. A cozy bar with snacks and drinks invited to many interesting discussions – a successful start. The next morning the bus took them into the middle of the mountains of Lincoln in New Hampshire where the tress shone in the most colorful shades.

 At the beginning of the retreat, they were warmly welcomed by the head of the program, Professor Shiv Pillai, and had the great honor of hearing many impressive lectures on a variety of topics in the field of immunology. Spread over two days, the best immunologists gave them an insight into the current state of research. In the evening Alina, Saskia and Maryam were able to find out more about the research topics of the doctoral students during the poster sessions. The free time was of course not too short, so that they could admire the beautiful nature around the retreat on a short hike.

For the three doctoral students, it is clear the retreat was a special experience for them. During their time in Boston and Lincoln, they met many amazing people and made new contacts. They also learned a lot about the current state of research in immunology and gave some motivation for their time in the lab.