POSSIM: your postgrad student society

Meet like minded people and make new connections through the Postgraduate Student Society for Infection and Immunity (POSSIM).

POSSIM has been around since 2012 with a current membership made up of graduate researchers at the University of Melbourne.

The society organises social and professional events, including a bi-annual graduate research retreat and monthly First Friday Drinks (pandemic allowing!). They also promote and act as the student representative for members to the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry, and Health Science.

Image credit: POSSIM Facebook Group

The current President, Daniel Rawlinson, says the pandemic has definitely impacted social connections within the group as they haven’t had opportunities to hold in-person events.

Earlier this year, POSSIM opened a Slack account for all graduate researchers and honours students - as a place for students to communicate virtually during the pandemic, to ask questions, and hear about updates and event info. Within Slack, students can post in each of the channels like ‘Ask anything’ or ‘Meme factory’. POSSIM are considering ways to increase its use as a place of connection for graduate researchers.

“We have held a number of virtual events, like games nights, with mixed success. While it has been difficult to replace in-person events, POSSIM provides support to members where it can,” he says.

Who can join

Microbiology, Infection or Immunity graduate research students at the University of Melbourne. POSSIM is based at the Peter Doherty Institute but membership and events extend to students outside of the Institute as well.

How to join

Contact POSSIM

Join the Facebook group

The POSSIM Executive Committee
Daniel Rawlinson - President

Daniel, a bioinformatician, joined the School of Biomedical Sciences in 2019 and started his PhD this year.

“The School is a great place to study because all around you there are fellow students doing incredible work. It’s easy to feel part of the forefront of science when you are part of a cohort that is tackling very tricky issues around health and medicine,” he says.

Working in the Coin Research Group in the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Daniel’s project uses single cell transcriptome data to explore how the immune system encodes memory of infection.

“We can take the huge amounts of data being sequenced in modern science and use it to resolve key questions around human health. What does immune memory look like at a cellular level? What does it look like when those memories are recalled? How can we make this memory more effective? These are all queries that we can begin to investigate with the help of single-cell sequencing,” Daniel says.

Want to know more about studying in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology?