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University of Michigan Holds Immunology Local Chapter Meeting

5/28/2020

The SMI Local Chapter Junior Investigator Meeting – Michigan was organized on March 6th in Ann Arbor, home of University of Michigan, and which is close to other excellent academic institutions including Michigan State University (Lansing and Grand Rapids), Wayne State University (Detroit) and University of Toledo (Toledo, OH) with a rich mucosal immunology community. The event was inspired by the previous SMI chapter meeting organized in New York in 2019, and organized and hosted by the Pathology Department of the University of Michigan, and sponsored by the Society for Mucosal Immunology.

This was a great way to bring together a total of 124 attendees from many outstanding mucosal immunology focused groups in the area, and provide the opportunity for our researchers to present their science, to connect with each other, receive career advice, and to promote the benefits of the Society for Mucosal Immunology among upcoming, next generation scientists at multiple institutions in Michigan and Ohio. 

Our full-day program included a keynote lecture featuring Dr. Nicholas W. Lukacs with a talk focused on career development for the new generations of mucosal immunologists titled “A career in science: how to do what you love”. Two oral presentation sessions featuring 10 invited junior faculty members, one oral presentation and a poster session featuring a total of 30 selected abstracts from Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows highlighted the cutting-edge research in the field of mucosal immunology. During the event, the attendees had numerous opportunities for networking including coffee and lunch breaks, and a reception over the poster viewing.

The event was advertised through the SMI website, Institutions’ mailing lists and social media (through Twitter under the hashtag #SMIMichigan2020) with the valued help of the communication specialists from the Department of Pathology (@UMichPath). A link to the event recap video is available at the U-M Pathology YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/8DyEijuWunw

Importantly, we are grateful for the support received from Dr. Charles Parkos, Chair of the Pathology Department, and Dr. Asma Nusrat, Director of Experimental Pathology, who provided departmental support. The organizers of the symposium were Dr. Jennifer Brazil, Catherine Ptaschinski, Dr. Taeko Noah, Dr. Roberta Caruso and Dr. Veronica Azcutia. Lastly, we would like to acknowledge Dr. Simon Hogan as a member of the Education and Career Development Committee within the Society for Mucosal Immunology for bringing this opportunity to Michigan and SMI for its sponsorship.

We hope the success of the Local chapter 2020 - Michigan serves as inspiration to other institutions to continue in organizing similar events with the purpose of bringing together next generation scientist from nearby institutions.

 -Veronica Azcutia, PhD & Jennifer Brazil, PhD