Breakout Sessions

Back by popular demand,  we are having optional breakout sessions during lunch on the second day of the meeting. These sessions will be moderated by experts in the field, and will include a short informative overview and time for discussion and questions. Each session will be limited to 30 participants, and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you wish to attend, please sign up during registration on the registration form!

The breakout sessions this year will be:

Careers Beyond the Bench

Whitney Amyot Viani, Lauren Celano, Lisa Hawver,  Julia Keith, Tom Riley, Melanie Sinche

As the number of tenure track positions available to recent PhDs decline, it is important for graduate students and post-docs to become familiar with the careers available outside of academic research.   We have invited a panel of recent PhD graduates to discuss their path away from the bench to careers in life sciences consulting, intellectual property, and venture capital, to name a few. In this session, our panelists will address your questions about the transition into non-academic science and how to make yourself stand out in a competitive job market.

Unraveling the Complexity of the Microbiome

Ana Luisa Maldano-Contreras, Jonathan Kotula, Rishab Shyam

The term “microbiome” is not just a buzz word anymore. Current research has begun to fundamentally reshape how we understand and treat various diseases. In this session, our panel of microbiome experts will address key discoveries and the long-term impact of microbiome research as well as the challenges encountered in the field.

Fighting Antibiotic Resistance

Thomas Bernhardt, Pulkit Gupta, Kim Lewis, Celia Schiffer

Antibiotic resistance has greatly reduced our ability to treat virulent bacterial infections. Thus, the discovery of novel antibiotics has become a critical public health priority. We have invited a panel of experts to discuss new, cutting-edge, approaches for identifying novel antibiotics. We will also lead a discussion on the repurposing of existing drugs for the treatment of bacterial infections.

Emerging Infectious Disease

Sarah Fortune, Linden Hu

The Centers for Disease Control define emerging infectious disease as any disease whose incidence has risen over the past 20 years, and is likely to continue to do so. Typically, viral infections like Zika and Ebola have dominated the media, however, several bacterial infections, including Lyme borreliosis and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, are current public health threats. What are the challenges that researchers face in studying these organisms? Come and find out in this breakout session with our panel of experts in emerging diseases.

Nothing “Small” about sRNAs

Susan Gottesman, Steve Lory, Wai-Leung Ng

Over the past several years, a great body of research has uncovered a role for sRNAs in nearly every biological process in bacteria, including metabolism, virulence, and competence, to name a few. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Susan Gottesman, will discuss the work that she has pioneered in this field. In addition to her keynote address, Dr. Gottesman and others will lead a breakout panel discussion regarding the current understanding of the role of sRNAs in bacterial biology and virulence.

How to Write Grants, Get Funding, and Live Happily Ever After

Melanie Berkmen, Chris Sassetti, Aimee Shen

In the current funding climate, developing the skills to write a competitive grant proposal is more important than ever for academic scientists. To be funded, a proposal needs to have worthy goals and a feasible plan for achieving them.  In this session, our panel members will discuss different types of funding sources, the structure and process of a grant application and review, and the elements of successful and unsuccessful proposals.

Current Visualization Techniques

Ethan Garner, Paula Montero Llopis, Shumin Tan

Given the importance of microscopy in answering basic biological questions, we need to keep pace with the emergence of new imaging technologies. Our panel of experts will lead a discussion of the latest and greatest in visualization techniques and will help you find ways to adapt these technologies to your research.