Front entrance
Resort & Conference Center at Hyannis


Annual Research Retreat


Welcome to the Immunology and Microbiology Program Research Retreat webpage. Here you will find all of the information you need for all things retreat related. This webpage will be updated with details for the 2014 retreat including links to the Resort & Conference Center at Hyannis, on-line registration, contests and the keynote speaker, as well as archives of past retreats, including slideshows and t-shirt entries. As this is an ongoing project, please let us know if you have something to contribute or input/suggestions. All ideas are welcome.


Bali P

Dr. Bali Pulendran
2014 IMP Research Retreat
Keynote Speaker


2013 IMP Logo Winner

2013 IMP Logo Winner
Dipti Karkarmar

This year's keynote speaker will be given by Dr. Bali Pulendran. He is the Charles Howard Candler Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine.

The overall goal of Dr. Pulendran's lab is to understand how the innate immune system regulates vaccines and therapeutics. Towards this end, they are using an integrative systems biological approach that use high throughput assays (transcriptomics, micro RNA expression, metabolomics) combined with computational approaches, in the following intertwined areas or research: 1) Dendritic cell control of adaptive immunity; 2) Innate control "self" - "non-self" discrimination in the intestine; 3) Learning immunology from vaccination.

In related work, they have designed synthetic vaccines that recapitulate one of the most salient features of successful live vaccines: the ability to induce persistent antibody responses that last a lifetime. They designed a synthetic nanoparticle based vaccine that resembled a virus in size and composition (multiple TLRs). Such particles induced lifelong antibody responses in mice. They are currently performing experiments in non-human primates to assess the efficacy of these nanoparticles in inducing protective immunity against HIV and malaria.

T-shirt - Each year one lucky winner is chosen for their outstanding t-shirt design. This design is featured not only on our t-shirts, but also on our name badges and the retreat program. If you are interested in submitting a design (or several), please email your .pdf to no later than May 16, 2014. This year we are going to 6 color print. There is no restriction on colors.

Poster - This prestigious award goes to Graduate Students for the best poster submitted during the evening poster session/social following the keynote address. All eligible posters are voted on by faculty in attendance. Please be sure to choose yes when registering for the retreat if you plan to submit a poster. The deadline for abstracts and your photo is May 21, 2014. Email them to

Prizes will be awarded to both contest winners.