1st Annual IIB Spring Celebration

This past week, the IIB community gathered for the first annual Spring Celebration, bringing together staff, faculty, and students for an afternoon of recognition and camaraderie.

We took the opportunity to celebrate the significant milestones achieved by our dedicated team, highlighting their contributions and hard work:

Dongmei Liao is the heart of the Kelsoe and Kuraoka labs whose excellent work, organization and careful planning is matched by her cheerfulness.

Xiaoe Liang came to the Kelsoe lab after working for Motonari Kondo and has always been grateful for the more relaxed pace. Xiaoe is a specialist in molecular genetics and has played a central role in all our studies in B-cell genetic diversity.

Akiko Watanbe came to the Kelsoe lab for love – literally. She is a double PhD (geology and immunology) and was good enough to marry Masayuki Kuraoka. They share Kei, a super-cute boy interested in bugs, fishing, and judo.

Ruchi Saxena has been in the our for 5 years and was instrumental to supporting the research in Youwen’s lab.

Alfreda Harris (in the photo below wearing the blue Duke shirt) has been an inventory and receiving specialist with the Life Science Facility (formerly CCF) for 20 years, where she is responsible for ordering, receiving, and inspecting the special order products sold in the facility. However, she helps with every other aspect of running the facility, therefore she has been an integral part in the expansion of products and services throughout the years. Without her dedicated service, the Life Science Facility would not be where it is today.

IIB Staff
IIB Staff members are integral to our department

The event also featured a special toast to honor the newly minted PhD graduates of the Class of 2023, acknowledging their perseverance and achievements as they embark on the next steps of their careers.


IIB Celebration
Enjoying the afternoon / Saskia Hemmers and Annie Moseman pose for the camera

Adding to the festive atmosphere was The Latin Effect food truck, which provided a variety of authentic Latin American dishes. The flavorful cuisine, including empanadas, tacos, and tamales, was enjoyed by all, creating a relaxed and enjoyable setting for everyone to mingle and share their experiences. The IIB Spring Celebration was a wonderful way to come together as a community, celebrating our successes and looking forward to the future.


Food Truck
Yummy snacks from the Latin Effect food truck