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large group of diverse people standing outside for the biochemistry and biophysics group photo at the retreat in October 2023

Event Highlights

The department of Biochemistry and Biophysics held its 2023 research retreat at the Cookery in Durham on October 19, featuring a dynamic lineup of events. The day included engaging talks showcasing the remarkable science within the department, two informative poster sessions (’23 poster session assignments), a thought-provoking keynote address by Dr. Linda Columbus titled “One woman’s journey through STEM,” which candidly shared her experiences as a woman in science, and stimulating DEI discussions. The event concluded with a lively happy hour, making it a successful and exciting day with over 100 participants, 40 poster presentations, and four trainee talks. The retreat was filled with lively discussion and terrific science, leaving everyone eagerly anticipating next year’s event.

Chair Dr. Jean Cook at the retreat 2023 introducing the speakercrowd sitting listening to a talk at research retreat 2023retreat photo keynote speaker of 2023 retreat speaking about a woman's experience in STEM retreat photo 2023 close up of trainees and faculty listening the keynote speaker2023 retreat photo seated crowd of 110 peopleposter session for retreat 2023poster session retreat 2023

Keynote Speaker

The keynote talk speaker this year was Dr. Linda Columbus from the University of Virginia.

Linda is an expert in the biophysics of membrane proteins, particularly regarding bacterial pathogenesis and host-pathogen interactions. She shared “One Woman’s Journey through STEM” that stimulated a lot of discussion and introspection about how we make science more equitable.

lunch photo retreat 2023

2023 Presentation winners


The best talk was Nick Randolph (Kuhlman lab), the best post-doc poster was Kanishk Jain, PhD (Strahl lab), and the best graduate student poster was Uriel Jean-Baptiste (Neher lab). Congratulations to our 2023 research retreat presentation winners.

View our photos and learn about their research at: “Congratulations 2023 Retreat Presentation Winners.”

Thank you to our organizers

research retreat 2023 Rick Baker and more

We would like to thank all our committee members for the planning, our graduate students, and all our other volunteers!

The organizers did a terrific job.

2023 Retreat Planning Committee
Richard Baker, Ph.D
Jill Dowen PhD
Robert Lee PhD
Maria Al Haddad
Leiah Carey PhD
Rhonda Strickland