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Student Enrichment Events and Opportunities

At the heart of the Department of Immunobiology is the principle that close cooperation and collaboration between investigators with diverse expertise and interests is the essential foundation for excellence in education and scientific research. A friendly, supportive environment, open discussion, shared resources, and multi-lab training are fundamental parts of the fabric of the research endeavor in Immunology at Yale. This has contributed heavily to the research achievements of the faculty and to the success of the program. There are many opportunities for interactions among the graduate students and between the graduate students and faculty.

Immunobiology Student Led Programs

Immunobiology Student Symposium

A full day symposium organized and run by Immunobiology Graduate students. Student coordinators invite prominent speakers to speak about cutting edge discoveries and future directions relevant to the field.

The goal is to strengthen the Immunology graduate student community by providing a creative atmosphere to network, establish connections and collaborations, and to share ideas at this formative stage in their careers. By hosting distinguished leaders, the students gain insight into the greater scientific community.

Big Ideas for Busy Immunologists - BIBI

A student organized biyearly symposium. Immunobiology Graduate Students select a panel of Yale Immunobiology faculty asking them to address the big questions currently in Immunology. Presentations center on future research in their area of expertise. This is meant to excite the audience and begin thinking outside the normal scope of science in their fields. Some talks are paired as Research and Industry or Research and Patient Benefits/Medicine. Each biyearly symposium has a specific theme to Immunobiology. This is followed with a reception allowing discussions to continue.

Science in the News

Several Immunobiology students were nominated to become members of the Yale Science Diplomats organization. The students have coordinated special topics for public presentation at local libraries under the auspice of “Science in the News”. Topics range from The Ebola Explosion!, Inside Granny’s Head: The Science of the Aging Brain, and Conquering Cancer: Medicine of the Future. Acting as ambassadors for science, they bring current health/research issues to the general public and the importance of continuing research in the United States. These seminars have been very well attended.

Career Development Speaker Series for Trainees

Immunobiology Trainees have organized a seminar series called the Career Development Speakers Series for Trainees with the goals of expanding career exploration opportunities and encouraging open dialogue about diverse careers among students, postdocs and faculty. The student committee together with a faculty advisor invite speakers from industry, academia, government and the private sector to discuss pathway to opportunities. Each semester an average of four speakers are hosted. The trainees expand the visit with a small dinner reception where the dialogue continues.

Weekly Immunobiology Student Journal Club

Organized and directed by current students, the journal club preempts the weekly department seminar, preparing students for the invited speaker’s area of expertise. Lively science discussions together with lunch are a weekly favorite amongst the trainees.

Department Activities: Educational, Research and Social

Photo by Robert A. Lisak

Immunobiology Seminars:
The Department of Immunobiology sponsors a well-attended seminar series covering all areas of Immunology. Weekly speakers include many of the most prominent Immunologists from around the world. In addition, students are provided the opportunity to host several of the speakers, often in the form of a faculty lunch or dinner.

Human & Translational Immunology (HTI) Seminars:
The HTI seminar series highlights studies of human disease and features nationally recognized speakers on a biweekly basis. These talks provide great insight into the complex interactions between basic research and clinical application.

Weekly Research in Progress Presentations:
Each Friday at 3:30 the department gathers to listen to two trainees, predocs and postdocs, present their current research plans. The department at large participates by offering suggestions and advice. A weekly beer hour with snacks are offered where the scholarly discussions continue.

Yearly Special Lectures – Gershon, Trudeau, and Janeway
Three special lectures are offered in memory of these famous founding Yale Immunobiologists. Distinguished guest speakers are invited to discuss relevant Immunology research. Receptions and dinners follow the events.

Departmental Retreat
The Department of Immunobiology holds an annual retreat which encourages the exchange and celebration of research ideas and accomplishments. The retreat emphasizes informal workshops and an extended poster session designed to promote social interaction and collaboration in a low-pressure, relaxed environment. This is usually a two day hosted event with overnight accommodations within a short drive.

Learning to Network at Yale

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Yale Offers Many Venues for Graduate Students to Meet, Network and Learn Together

Schartzman Center: A gathering place for Graduate and Undergraduate Students

President Peter Salovey has recently announced a $150 million path-breaking gift by Blackstone founder and Yale alumnus, Stephen A. Schwarzman ’69 B.A. to create a world-class, state-of-the-art campus center by renovating the historic Commons and Memorial Hall. The Schwarzman Center will be designed to draw together students and faculty from all of Yale’s schools and colleges, and with the help of state-of-the-art technology, enable virtual engagement with the outside world in a dynamic way. The project will be a cornerstone of the President’s vision to build a more unified, accessible, and innovative university. The myriad educational, social, and cultural programs envisioned for the Schwarzman Center will further reinforce Yale’s role as a leading research university “that proudly and unapologetically focuses on its students.”

GPSCY: Graduate, and Professional Student Center at Yale. Built in the late 1960’s, the GPSCY has served as Yale’s graduate and professional student private pub. Access as a Yale student is provided with your Yale ID. It has three floors located in a gothic building replicated after an old English Tudor. With two bars, Karaoke, live entertainment, pool tables, couches and lounging areas you will find many of your colleagues frequenting this establishment, after a productive week in the lab!

McDougal Center: Center for Graduate and Professional Student Life, located in the Graduate School, offers a myriad of social and intellectual happenings. Students are emailed with program announcements each week. Functions range from ski trips to interacting with famous name speakers, from apple picking to dissertation guidance meetings. Fellowship and Grant writing workshops to meeting with the President and Provost on input with university policy.

Office for Diversity and Equal Opportunity (ODEO) : ODEO was established in 2000 and works collaboratively with departments and programs to proactively recruit and support the needs of diverse students as they pursue graduate study at Yale. Retention is recognized as a necessary accompaniment to successful recruitment. The office is led by a Director (Michelle Nearon), who is also an Assistant Dean in the Graduate School. The office is committed to providing underrepresented students who wish to attend Yale’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences with the information and mentoring to advance a competitive application for admission and to succeed in the program of study that they have chosen. ODEO works in collaboration with departmental Diversity Recruitment Coordinators, Directors of Graduate Study, and faculty on a five-pronged approach to increase the diversity of the student population that includes: 1) coordination of institution and geographical region-specific recruitment trips and attendance at graduate fairs and conferences attended by large numbers of traditionally underrepresented students interested in graduate study; 2) the development of partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) in order to nurture and encourage the best and brightest students from these institutions to consider applying to Yale for graduate school; 3) involvement in national consortium efforts and other special interest groups that allow for collaboration with other institutions interested in increasing the numbers of traditionally underrepresented students who pursue graduate education; 4) organizing Yale campus visits; and 5) establishing pipeline programs.

Other Activities and Resources

Below are just a few resources available to graduate students in the Department of Immunobiology.

Science Education Outreach Program

Science Education Outreach Program, SEOP, is a successful outreach program that has been in place since 1995. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the sciences at Yale carry out projects in genetics in the New Haven Middle Schools going together as teams of 3 per classroom. We focus on middle school to capture the spirit of curiosity of young people before they decide whether science is "cool" or not.

 The Graduate Writing Center helps GSAS students with their written coursework, seminar papers, prospectuses, papers for publication, fellowships, grant applications, and dissertation chapters.  The center offers many programs, including: Individual Writing Consultations; Dissertation Prospectus Writing; Grant and Fellowship Writing; Workshops for Non-native English Speakers.


All members of the Department of Immunobiology have access to the main Yale Medical Library which has an extensive collection of journals available at the library and online. The Scan and Deliver service now offered by Yale's library allows current Yale students to submit requests for book chapters and journal articles from the ORBIS and MORRIS library catalogs. Requests are received by library staff members who will locate, retrieve, and scan the materials within two business days. When the request is ready for download, patrons will receive an email containing a link to access the PDF.