The First International Bo&MeRanG Retreat in Germany

Sankt Goar, Germany, 8-10 June 2017

Bo&MeRanG student Emma Bawden reports on her experience at the retreat in St Goar

Arriving at the Romantik Hotel in Sankt Goar, an enchanting, medieval-themed hotel adjoining the ruins of the Rheinfels fortress, I felt I had stepped into a scene from Game of Thrones. Overlooking the panoramic views of the Rhine river, this was the perfect location for the very first retreat of the Bonn & Melbourne Research and Graduate training group (Bo&MeRanG).

For most of the students, this was the first time meeting with their international supervisors and their student counterparts. This provided the opportunity to get to know each other, beyond emails and Skype calls, and also facilitated exciting discussion about future directions and synergy between projects.

All students and supervisors presented their research, providing the opportunity to see the breadth of topics covered by the Bo&MeRanG participants. The presentations were highly engaging and elucidated opportunities for cross-collaborations between groups. Scientific discussion was interspersed with a well-planned program of gourmet dining, a castle tour, hiking, wine-tasting and a river cruise. These social activities made it easy to get to know each other beyond our shared passion for myeloid antigen presenting cells and adaptive immunity.

The retreat was a rewarding and enriching experience for both my scientific endeavours and social networking. I was left feeling motivated with new ideas to take back to the laboratory in Melbourne. Having the opportunity after the retreat to visit the University of Bonn, I am also very excited for the year I will get to spend abroad.

Video of the selected highlights from the first international Bo&MeRanG retreat