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G&D and Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis Spring Retreat

2015 Joint Spring Retreat
April 13-15, 2015
Camp Allen Conference & Retreat Center
Navasota, TX

Retreat Program (pdf)

Retreat Starts
Monday, April 13 at 10:30 AM (registration and poster set-up starts at 9:00 AM)
Retreat Ends 
Wednesday, April 15 at 11:15 AM

Retreat Location
18800 FM 362, Navasota, Texas 77868
Tel: (936) 825-7175
Camp Allen Map (pdf)
Driving Directions:  

Houston Bus Information
The bus leaves Houston Monday, April 13 at 7:30 AM from in front of BSRB. Boarding starts at 7:00 AM. The bus will depart Camp Allen Wednesday at 11:45 AM; boarding starts at 11:15 in the lot across the road from the main lobby. The bus will make 3 drop-off stops upon returning to Houston: #1 BSRB; #2 Brown/South Extension Parking Lot; #3 UT Housing, 7900 Cambridge. We still have a few people on the waiting list. If you have a seat reservation but have found a ride, please let Elisabeth know immediately.

Smithville Bus Information
The bus leaves Smithville Monday, April 13 at 7:30 AM from in front of the Conference Center. Boarding starts at 7:00 AM. The bus will depart Camp Allen Wednesday at 11:45 AM; boarding starts at 11:15 in the lot across the road from the main lobby. The bus will drop everyone off at the Smithville Conference Center.

Driving Directions from Houston
- Take US 290 West toward Austin (There is heavy construction near 610)
- Exit at FM 362.
- Turn RIGHT onto FM 362 and go about 6 miles to the “T” intersection at FM 1488.
- Turn RIGHT on FM 1488 and go 3 miles to Field Store Community.
- Turn LEFT back onto FM 362 and go 6.2 miles to Camp Allen (Left Entrance)

Driving Directions from Smithville
- Take US 290 East toward Houston.
- Continue on 290 past Hempstead and Prairie View to the FM 362 Exit.
- Turn left onto FM 362 and go about 6 miles to the “T” intersection at FM 1488.
- Turn RIGHT on FM 1488 and go 3 miles to Field Store Community.
- Turn LEFT back onto FM 362 and go 6.2 miles to Camp Allen (Left Entrance)

Meeting and Hotel Check-In, Check-Out & Keys
Upon arrival, please go to the front lobby of the Conference Center (#9 on map) to pick up your meeting packet, hotel registration card and room key. Please note that some rooms will not be available until after lunch. Bus riders will be able to store their luggage by the check-in desk.  

Room check-out must be completed by Noon on Wednesday. Please return all keys to the front desk.

Cell Phone Service, Wi-Fi and Other Important Camp Allen Notes
AT&T cell service is excellent throughout the property and Verizon service is good. However, Sprint service is NOT available.  There is Wi-Fi throughout (no password needed), but their network will NOT support large numbers of people streaming video so don’t count on doing this. There is a TV lounge in Building #3 on the map (Richardson Wing) but there are no TVs in the rooms (except the 5 suites). Smoking and pets are not allowed at Camp Allen.

Speaker Information
Please bring your slide presentation on a flash drive to the meeting hall (All Saints #10 on map) 15 minutes before your session starts.

Poster Sessions and Set-Up Schedule (All Saints 1B, #10 on map)
There will be two poster sessions: Monday evening 7:30 – 9:30 PM (Odd Numbers) and Tuesday evening 7:30 – 9:30 PM (Even Numbers). Posters will be numbered in alpha order based on last name. Click here to learn your poster number. All posters should stay up until 10:30 am Wednesday morning for judging reasons. 

Poster Mounting & Display
All posters will be mounted on numbered 4' x 4' white cardboard, tri-fold stands that will be placed on tables in the poster room, in numerical order. Velcro tabs and push pins will be provided on site for everyone. Click here to see a photo.

Breakout Sessions
Two breakout sessions are scheduled: Tuesday at 10:30 AM and Tuesday at 5:15 PM. Each breakout session will feature four concurrent workshops on different topics.

Abstract Books
A limited number of abstract books will be available at the meeting registration desk and in the meeting hall. A complete list of poster abstract titles and authors will be in your meeting packet.

Platform & Poster Awards – Don’t Leave Early!
Platform and Poster awards will be presented at 11:00 AM Wednesday morning in the meeting all. All winners must be present at the awards presentation to receive their award.

All meals are provided, starting with lunch Monday and ending with breakfast Wednesday.  A box lunch will be provided for Houston and Smithville bus riders only on Wednesday. There is a small gift shop at Camp Allen but no on-site public restaurant.

Camp Allen Recreation Options - Sign-Up Here
Camp Allen offers numerous outdoor recreational opportunities that will be available Monday afternoon from 2:30 to 5:00 PM only. Some are fee-based (horseback trail ride, boating and skeet shooting), while many others are free: fishing on Lake Goddard (Camp Allen provides poles and free corn bait at front desk), volleyball, walking trails through the woods, horseshoes, ladder golf, basketball or tennis (same court). You must sign-up by this Thursday at Noon for fee-based activities. You will pay the activity fee at Camp Allen when you sign their required release form. It is possible spots will be available on-site, but not guaranteed. Strict minimums and maximums are set by Camp Allen. Click here to see costs and to sign-up. Equipment for free activities is available at the Camp Allen front desk.

Monday Evening Social & Board Games
Immediately after Monday’s poster session, a G&D and EMC-hosted beer and wine social will be held in Tellepsen, the room next to the dining hall. Come and mingle or join in on some lively group board games.

Tuesday Evening Entertainment and Late Night Hospitality Room
A program of student-organized skits will be held Tuesday evening at 9:45 PM in the meeting hall, after the second poster session. Don’t miss it! Afterwards, gather with others to mingle in the Hospitality Suite, B302 in the Benitez Wing (#7 on the map).  

Retreat Questions
Please contact Elisabeth Lindheim at or Becky Brooks at if you have any questions about the retreat.

About the Retreat

The Genes and Development Program (G&D) and Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis Program (EMC) will hold their second joint spring retreat April 13-15, 2015 at Camp Allen in the Texas Piney Woods near Navasota, Texas. Students, postdocs and faculty in all G&D and EMC program labs, the research staff of the Genetics Department and all other G&D labs, and first year students doing a rotation in G&D and EMC labs are invited to participate.

The joint retreat offers trainees an outstanding opportunity to learn about the science being conducted in EMC and G&D Program labs, to foster new collaborations, to develop scientific presentation skills, and to meet and get to know each other, the faculty and other researchers in a relaxed setting.

With the goal of facilitating scientific exchange and interactions among members of all participating labs, the 2015 retreat will feature trainee and faculty research talks, two poster sessions, keynote addresses by Daniel Durocher, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto and Senior Scientist, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, and David Brown, Ph.D., Director, Discovery and in vivo Research at Mirna Therapeutics, breakout sessions on career development topics, and social time. All trainee research posters and platform talks will be judged for awards.

The retreat begins at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, April 13, 2015 and ends at 11:15 a.m. on Wednesday, April 15th.  A preliminary schedule is posted here. A detailed schedule will be posted prior to the retreat. Free charter bus transportation will be provided for attendees who do not wish to drive. Seats are limited so early registration is encouraged. Free parking is available at Camp Allen.


Please register, submit your abstract and view the poster guidelines via the links below. Houston attendees who are not in the Departments of Genetics, Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis, Experimental Radiation Oncology and Molecular & Cellular Oncology, excluding G&D students, are asked to provide an account number to cover their meeting fee when registering.

Retreat Registration:  Deadline is February 16, 2015
Abstract Submission:  Deadline is March 2, 2015
Poster Guidelines

Everyone is strongly encouraged to participate in this important and fun scientific retreat. If you have any questions about the retreat or your registration, please contact Elisabeth Lindheim at (Houston) or Becky Brooks at (Smithville)

Photos from the 2014 G&D and EMC Joint Spring Retreat


2015 Retreat Documents

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center