International Students Visit Ragon

International Students Visit Ragon

Jun 20

As part of the Ragon Institute’s ongoing commitment to education, the week of May 14-18 saw Ragon hosting international students from Spain and Chile.


During the week, 8 Masters/PhD students from Spain and 3 high school students from Chile met with Ragon faculty and shadowed postdoctoral fellows.


Three of the eight visiting students are nearing completion of their PhD and five are finishing their Masters and preparing to start their PhD studies. This visit gave them the opportunity to learn more about the HIV immunology and research done at Ragon and to speak to faculty members about their career paths, an advantage at this critical juncture in their student careers. Their areas of interest ranged from bioinformatics to immune activation, natural killers, and vaccine strategy and drug testing. A few students gave a short presentation of their Ph.D. research projects.


Seven Ragon Institute faculty members met with the students in small, informal meetings to discuss the projects they are currently working on as well as their career paths. Dr Ildiko Toth discussed sample processing and Dr Karen Power, the sequencing platform.


The Barcelona students also attended the Ragon Immunology Seminar presented by Dr. Donald Ronning from University of Toledo and joined Ragon fellows for an informal lunch with Dr. Ronning.


Concurrent with the visit of the Barcelona students, 3 high school students from Chile, hosted by the German International School Boston, also visited the Ragon Institute.


Students shadowed researchers performing experiments, attended group meeting and were involved with informal group discussions with technicians, students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty. The result was a lively, interactive exchange between researchers and students. Drs Altfeld, Yu, Trocha and Walker hosted the high school students in their laboratories.


The visit of the students of the Spanish students was organized by long-time Ragon collaborators Drs. Christian Brander and Bonaventura Clotet as part of the Master in Science program at IrsiCaixa (Institut de Recerca de la Sida). Dr. Sylvie Le Gall, head of Ragon Institute Educational Program, Drs Maria Buzon and Enrique Gayo, postdoctoral fellows organized and coordinated the visit on the Ragon side.

Dr. Marylyn Addo, head of the Ragon International Program and Office Manager Kristina Linden coordinated the visit of Chilean students.


High school, Master and Ph.D. students actively participated; the younger students enjoying discovering the Institute while the older students enjoyed discussing HIV research.


“We were delighted to host high school and Ph.D. students,” Dr. Le Gall commented. “By opening the Institute to young students we hope to encourage them to consider and chose scientific careers.”