Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Monash Microbiology 50th Anniversary

One reason I am running behind on my blog is that the last couple of weeks have been a frenzy of travel and talks. This included attending the Monash Microbiology Department 50th anniversary function, otherwise known as Monash Bugs R50 for the twitter literate. This event was held at Deakin Edge at Federation Square in Melbourne, a cool venue with funky modern architecture. There were four talks given by former Monash graduates, including myself, and several talks from current Monash faculty about their future directions. This was a formal event so shockingly enough, I was there in a suit (sorry no photographic proof). Several people asked how they got me out of my usual leather jacket, and my answer was that I had it surgically removed.

There was a great turnout with more than 200 attendees including many retired former staff of the department, so it was a great opportunity for catching up with old friends and colleagues, particularly since the event finished with cocktail party. There were also lots of photos projected on the big screen from across the fifty years of the department history, including many with scary hair from the 60s and 70s.

My talk basically told the story of how my scientific career has been shaped from experiences and interests from my time as an Honours and PhD student with Ron Skurray's research group at Monash Microbiology. One of the other speakers was Mark Schembri, who was in the same Honours class as me (see photographic evidence below) and is now a Professor at the University of Queensland.

I thought it was a great event, and an honour to be invited to talk. It was great fun catching up with many people I haven't seen for decades.

Clearly an excellent year for Microbiology Honours students- I'm the tallish person roughly in the middle; Mark Schembri is second on the right from me
A Skurray lab group meeting in late 1989 or early 1990. That's me in the middle with way too much hair, a Violent Femmes T-shirt and scarily bright red shoes. Also pictured from left to right- Ron Skurray, Dario DiBerardino and Linda Messerotti,

Cocktail party after the scientific talks
The venue at Deakin Edge, Federation Square

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