On Sunday, October 21, Jim Harbaugh, head coach of University of Michigan football, greeted 125 surprised attendees of the Pathology Investigators, Students and Academicians (PISA) Conference being hosted by the University of Michigan at the A. Alfred Taubman Biomedical Science Research Building in Ann Arbor. PISA attendees, following two days of lectures on the molecular mechanisms of disease and recent discoveries in cancer treatment and inflammation, met at The Big House for an evening of celebration. While touring Michigan Stadium, Jim Harbaugh surprised the attendees, posing for photos with each attendee and autographing footballs. The delighted scientists then adjourned to the Jack Roth Stadium Club for a banquet and an evening of music and dancing.
PISA is a member organization of the American Society of Investigative Pathology (ASIP). PISA is aimed at delivering attendees the most exciting and up-to-date concepts in pathogenesis and translational medicine. World acclaimed scientists in these areas delivered lectures, while experienced members of the program committee moderated discussion during these sessions in a cordial, collegial, and contemporary environment for learning and networking. Trainees and junior investigators gave many oral poster presentations in the form of short 3-minute “poster blitzes” in between invited lectures and abstract-driven talks. Poster sessions were held in an open atrium directly outside of the auditorium, creating an intimate setting for intellectual exchange and constructive comments, especially for trainees and junior faculty.
Attendees found that this event exceeded its educational objectives. It was not only a valuable learning opportunity, but the format lent itself to forming relationships with potential mentors and collaborators.