Science & Technology

Register for USU's 12th Annual Hansen Life Sciences Retreat Oct. 21-22

All USU researchers involved in molecular life sciences study are invited to share ideas at annual gathering.

By Mary-Ann Muffoletto |

All USU researchers involved in molecular life sciences study are invited to share ideas at the 2022 Hansen Life Sciences Retreat Oct. 21-22. (Photo Credit: USU/M. Muffoletto)

Registration is open for Utah State University’s 2022 Hansen Life Sciences Retreat, slated for Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21-22, on campus and at the Riverwoods Conference Center in Logan. Celebrating its 12th year, the annual gathering is open to all USU students, faculty and staff involved in the study of biological processes at the molecular level.

“Each fall, we invite scholars from all departments throughout the university who are conducting study and research in the molecular life sciences to pause their experiments, throw off their lab coats and join us to share ideas and approaches with one another,” says Sean Johnson, associate dean in the College of Science and associate professor in USU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, which coordinates the conference. “This is a gathering to encourage collaborative efforts and celebrate each individual’s contributions in the larger research community.”

USU neuroscience doctoral student Max McDermott, who participated in a previous retreat, says the gathering “really forced me to think about my research in ways I hadn’t before.”

“That’s huge — when you talk only with researchers in your field, it can become a bit of an echo chamber,” he says. “Even though I’m on a campus with scientists and engineers exploring similar topics, we don’t always have a chance to discuss and acknowledge our common research goals. The Hansen Retreat provides this opportunity.”

Featured 2022 retreat speaker is Sheena D’Arcy, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Texas at Dallas. A recipient of National Institutes of Health funding, D’Arcy leads a research team focused on the structure, dynamics and function of proteins and protein complexes. She has particular expertise in hydrogen-deuterium exchange coupled to mass spectrometry (HDX-MS), a technique that reveals high-resolution information on molecular interactions.

D’Arcy speaks during the Friday evening, Oct. 21 retreat session at 5 p.m., in the Life Sciences Building Auditorium, Room LSB 133. Her talk is free and open to the public. Guests attending the talk but not participating in the full retreat are asked to register in advance, as a free dinner is included with the Friday evening presentation.

The retreat continues Saturday, Oct. 22, from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., with research presentations, a poster session and career networking, at Logan’s Riverwoods Conference Center.

Registration for the full retreat is $20 per person and includes dinner on Friday; breakfast and lunch on Saturday and a retreat T-shirt. Participants should register by Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022.

The Hansen Life Sciences Retreat honors the memory of renowned biochemist R. Gaurth Hansen (1920-2002), a gifted scientist, teacher and administrator, who spent much of his career enriching Utah State University. A Cache Valley, Utah native, Hansen began his undergraduate studies at Utah State, before transferring to the University of Wisconsin, where he completed bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees.

Hansen joined USU's faculty as an academic vice president in 1968, and was soon promoted to provost. His efforts contributed to a twenty-fold increase in the university's research budget. In addition to his administrative and teaching endeavors, Hansen published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in professional journals, and he received many prestigious national accolades. He was named USU Distinguished Professor Emeritus in 1985 and retired from Utah State in 1994.

The Hansen Retreat is supported by USU alum Lars Peter Hansen and Grace Tsiang.

For more information, contact the USU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at 435-797-0544.

USU's annual Hansen Life Sciences Retreat honors the memory of R. Gaurth Hansen, right, a renowned biochemist, professor and administrator who spent much of his career at USU. (Photo Credit: USU Special Collections.)


Mary-Ann Muffoletto
Public Relations Specialist
College of Science


Cindy Weatbrook
Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry


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