The 2018 Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (HSCRB) retreat, held on September 21, took place on a beautiful, sunny day along the waterfront at the Museum of Science in Boston. Over 200 department members listened to a welcome address by newly appointed department chair Paola Arlotta; research talks by faculty, trainees, and guest speakers; and the presentation of the department’s annual Trainee Leadership Award.

2018 HSCRB Retreat Program

In her opening remarks, Professor Arlotta introduced Amy Wagers as co-chair of the department, and welcomed two incoming faculty members: Jason Buenrostro and Jessica Whited. The addition of their research groups has been eagerly anticipated, and all laboratories applauded their arrival warmly.

Scientific presentations highlighted a cross-section of research from the department, paired with developments in organ-on-a-chip technology and studies on how the brain learns and executes motor skills from guest speakers Geraldine Hamilton, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Emulate, Inc., and Bence Ölveczky, Harvard Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology.

The day was rounded out with a lively “pop-up” poster session, when markers and giant sticky notes were taken up by those brave enough to doodle with purpose. These on-the-spot illustrations showed research into what stress does to hair, how to hide beta cells from immune attack, and many other topics.

In a celebration of community, Professor Wagers presented the inaugural Trainee Leadership Award to graduate student John Hatch, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the DRB graduate program and undergraduate mentoring, and for making a positive difference in the HSCRB community.