Teaching & Learning

Registration Open for USU's 10th Annual Hansen Life Sciences Virtual Retreat

By Mary-Ann Muffoletto |

USU doctoral student Mathangi Soundararajan, center, discusses her poster at the 2019 Hansen Life Sciences Retreat. All USU students and faculty in the molecular life sciences are invited to the 2020 virtual gathering Sept. 18-19. M. Muffoletto.

Registration is open for Utah State University’s 2020 Hansen Life Sciences Retreat, which will be held online Friday and Saturday, Sept. 18-19. Celebrating its 10th year, the annual gathering is open to all USU students and faculty involved in the study of biological processes at the molecular level.

“Each fall, we invite scholars from all departments throughout campus, 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.”

The retreat features a student-driven agenda and includes student presentations and poster sessions. The Friday, Sept. 18 seminar is 5-6:30 p.m. and the Saturday, Sept. 19 events are from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.   

Cost to participate in the retreat is $20 per person and the registration deadline is Monday, August 31.

“The pandemic obviously presents challenges and prevents us from holding our usual in-person gathering,” Johnson says. “But technology offers some advantages and we will proceed with enthusiasm.”

The gathering 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 Lars Peter Hansen and Grace Tsiang.

Register online at the Hansen Life Sciences Retreat website. For 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. This year’s gathering will be held online. USU Special Collections.


Mary-Ann Muffoletto
Public Relations Specialist
College of Science


Erin Russell
Office Manager
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

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