We spend the first 30 minutes or so going around the table with each person summarizing the work of the previous week, listing any noteworthy successes or failures. It is a chance for everyone to participate and to quickly touch base with other lab members.
Second, we have three to four short talks lasting about 15 minutes each. These talks are accompanied with a 500 word write-up that summarizes the work. It is meant to develop presentation and writing skills. Lab meeting write-ups are typically the starting point for papers, review articles, prelim exam and dissertations. (500 words per lab meeting = ~5000 words per year).
Lab meeting is followed by one-on-one meetings with Sandeep to ensure projects are on-track.
The computational and experimental biology groups in the lab split up for biweekly journal club where each small group explores and critiques a recently published paper. Members of each group take turns presenting the paper and everyone participates in the discussion.
Every lab member attends a major conference. Typically, the computational biology and experimental biology groups pick separate conferences. Last year, the computational biology group attended the Biology of Genomes meeting at Cold Spring Harbor, New York. The experimental biology group attended the FASEB meeting on hematologic malignancies at Saxton River, Vermont.
All trainees and staff are expected to present an abstract and present talks and posters. Presenting in lab meeting is excellent preparation for presenting at conferences.
The yearly retreat provides an opportunity for new lab members to get to know the others in a relaxed environment. The two day program includes developing a project, games and outdoor activities. Typically every August.