Community Events

GPiB is a fun and supportive community that comes together frequently through scientific and social events. Every week begins with Monday data talks and ends with Friday happy hour, with many opportunities for engagement in between. In addition to these core community events, GPiB students participate in a wide range of career, science, and social events across the Harvard and Boston microbiology communities.

Weekly Events

Monday Talks

The HMS Department of Microbiology hosts data talks every Monday at noon. This event forms the center of the vibrant GPiB scientific community. Faculty, students, fellows, and research assistants from more than two dozen Harvard-affiliated labs attend, creating a rigorous and supportive environment where trainees and faculty present their latest research. GPiB students learn about the newest discoveries and approaches and how to communicate and discuss their science.

Tuesday and Wednesday Seminars

Every week, the GPiB’s home departments at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health host seminars by national and international experts from across the many sub-disciplines of microbiology. As part of their visit, speakers participate in small, informal lunches that give GPiB students opportunities to discuss their research with scientists outside our community, learn about research at other institutions, and explore potential postdoctoral positions. Students also take advantage of the diverse range of relevant seminars available in the Longwood Medical Area, including series focused on Virology, Immunology, Genetics, and Epidemiology.

Friday Journal Club

GPiB students organize and attend a weekly journal club characterized by free lunch, the absence of faculty, and a paper selected by one of the students. Journal club is a chance to mix science and socializing – time is spent discussing the paper along with rotations, lab and grad school life, new technologies, and more.

Friday Social Hour

Our microbiology community ends the week together with snacks, drinks, music, and conversation. Every Friday Social Hour is hosted by a different lab, and no matter who hosts, it’s never over after just one hour. Hosting a good social hour has become a matter of pride within the community. We hold Friday Social Hour because it’s a nice way to end the work week, but many collaborations have also been sparked during a casual conversation at this event.

Annual Events

Fall Welcome Party

Every September, the GPiB holds a party to welcome new students and kick off the year. This off-campus event is a great opportunity to meet and socialize with GPiB students and faculty in an informal setting.

Fall Program Retreat

GPiB hosts a program retreat every fall that is attended by all GPiB students and faculty. Talks by our third year GPiB students are the core of this event and are a chance for them to introduce themselves to our community and practice sharing their science.

Boston Bacterial Meeting

The Boston Bacterial Meeting (BBM) began as a small conference organized by trainees in Jon Beckwith’s Lab at HMS in 1994. In the intervening 20+ years it has grown into a 2-day meeting with over 500 participants from more than 100 labs. However, it remains a meeting in which all the presentations are given by students and postdocs. Although BBM is not strictly a GPiB event and is now attended by researchers from across the country, it still feels like our local meeting, and GPiB students actively participate and serve as core members of the organizing committee.


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