Science & Technology

Registration Open for USU's 13th Annual Hansen Life Sciences Retreat Oct. 27-28

All USU researchers involved in molecular life sciences study are welcome; Columbia University CRISPR researcher Sam Sternberg is featured speaker.

By Mary-Ann Muffoletto |

All scholars pursuing study and research of life sciences at the molecular level are invited to USU's 2023 Hansen Life Sciences Retreat Oct. 27-28. Registration and poster abstract submission are open. (Photo: USU/M. Muffoletto)

Registration is open for Utah State University’s 2023 Hansen Life Science Retreat, slated for Friday and Saturday, Oct. 27-28, on campus in Logan. Celebrating its 13th year, the annual gathering is open to all USU undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, faculty and staff, from diverse disciplines, involved in the study of biological processes at the molecular level.

“Each fall, we invite scholars from all departments throughout the university, who are pursuing 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.”

Keynote retreat speaker is Sam Sternberg, assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University. Sternberg is a Sloan Research Fellow in Chemistry and Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences. A recent recipient of the National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award, Sternberg’s research focuses on understanding the mechanism of nucleic acid targeting by RNA-guided bacterial immune systems (CRISPR-Cas) and the development of these systems for genome engineering applications.

Sternberg speaks during the Friday evening, Oct. 27 retreat session, at 5 p.m. in the Emert Auditorium (ESLC 130) of the Eccles Science Learning Center. His talk is free and open to the public. Guests attending the talk, but not participating in the full retreat, are asked to RSVP.

The retreat continues Saturday, Oct. 28, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with research presentations, a poster session and career networking, at the Larry W. and Lindi Miller Champion’s Club at West Stadium Center of the Maverik Stadium, 880 E. 1000 North, on USU’s Logan Campus.

Registration for the full retreat is $30 per person, and includes appetizers on Friday; breakfast and lunch on Saturday and a retreat shirt. Participants may submit a poster abstract, and should register and request their shirt size by Wednesday, Oct. 11.

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 20-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, along with their son, Peter Hansen.

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

CRISPR researcher Sam Sternberg, Sloan Research Fellow in Chemistry and Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences at Columbia University, is the keynote speaker for the 2023 Hansen Life Sciences Retreat. (Photo Credit: Columbia University)


Mary-Ann Muffoletto
Public Relations Specialist
College of Science


Cindy Weatbrook
Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

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