How to start a lab (and other stories) Dan Tennant and Aga Gambus (also Tennant) Where Dan has been… BA (Hons) and MSci, Cambridge University, UK MRC PhD at University of Manchester/PICR Professors Caroline Dive and David Tomlinson CR-UK post-doctoral fellowship, Beatson Institute for Cancer Research Professor Eyal Gottlieb School of Cancer Sciences, University of Birmingham Lecturer in Cancer Biochemistry Where Aga has been… MSc, Jagiellonian University , Poland CR-UK PhD at Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, Dr Karim Labib Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship Professor Julian Blow’s lab, Dundee School of Cancer Sciences, University of Birmingham independent research School of Cancer Sciences, University of Birmingham MRC CDA Fellow, Birmingham Fellow Timeline Aga Post-doc 2 starts Post-doc 2 re-locates Post-doc starts PhD starts PhD ends 2002 2005 2006 2007 PhD starts Fellowship starts 2010 2011 2013 PhD ends Post-doc starts Dan Thomas born Post-doc ends Lectureship starts Two very different PhDs! Aga Labib, K. and Gambus, A. Trends Cell Biol (2007). Gambus A, Jones R, Sanchez-Diaz A, Kanemaki M, van Deursen F, Edmondson R, Labib K. Nature Cell Biology (2006) Kanemaki M, Sanchez-Diaz A, Gambus A, Labib K. Nature (2003) The Pontecorvo prize awarded for the best Ph.D thesis from CR-UK-funded students Michael Dexter Young Investigator award, Paterson Institute for Cancer Research. Dan Two post-docs Aga Second post-doc (Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowhip – 4 years) Gambus, A and Blow JJ (when independent in Birmingham) Cell Cycle (2013). Gillespie PJ, Gambus A and Blow JJ Methods (2012) Gambus A, Khoudoli GA, Jones RC and Blow JJ J Biol Chem (2011) “First” post-doc Gambus A, et al. EMBO J. 2009 Dan Frezza C, Zheng L, Tennant DA, Gottlieb E. PLoS ONE (2011) Tennant DA and Gottlieb E. J Mol Med (2010) Frezza C, Tennant DA and Gottlieb E. Cancer Cell, (2010) Tennant DA and Gottlieb E Nature Reviews Cancer, (2010) Tennant DA, Durán RV, Boulahbel H, Carcinogenesis, 2009. Tennant DA et al. Oncogene (2009) MacKenzie ED, Selak MA, Tennant DA et al. Molecular and Cellular Biology, (2007) So what happened? • Dan got lectureship in Birmingham (when Thomas was 8 weeks old) – start-up of 1 yr technician salary and a hypoxia workstation • Aga brought her final 9 months of fellowship to Birmingham – negociates a 1 yr salary + consumables in order to find new money. How Dan started his lab 1. Telling everyone how important his area of research was in order to understand theirs! 2. Writing many many many grant proposals 3. Collaborating with everyone 4. Accepting all invitations to speak/go places, etc. 5. Getting lucky Grant applications 1 2 3 4 5 6 2011 7 8 91011 1213 14 2013 2012 1 2 3 £15,000 £116,000 £160,000 4 £89,000 2014 5 6 £184,000 £6,000 Collaborations lead to ‘space-filler’ papers Liu Y, Tennant DA, et al. PLoS ONE, (2014) Adam J, (about 10 authors), Tennant DA, (another 5 authors). Cell Reports, (2013) Favaro E, Bensaad K, Chong MG, Tennant DA, (another 8-9 authors) Cell Metabolism, (2012) Ashrafian H,…(about 8 authors), Tennant DA, (about 10 more authors). Cell Metabolism, (2012) Talks National/International meetings Other 2015: Belgian Association for Cancer Research, Brussels, Belgium 2014: American Association for Cancer Research, San Diego, USA 2014: International Symposium on Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma, Kyoto, Japan 2014: European Association of NeuroOncology meeting, Turin, Italy 2014: The Association of Science Education Conference, Birmingham 2013: European Congress of Pathology, Lisbon, Portugal 2013: Precision Medicines in Breast Cancer Symposium, London, UK 2012: MiTOX meeting, Oxford, UK 2011: International Symposium on Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma, Paris, France 2014: University of L’Aquila, Italy 2014: School of Biological, Biomedical and Environmental Sciences, University of Hull 2014: The Brain Tumour Charity Grantholder Day, Farnborough 2014: Wellcome Trust Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford University 2013: Shenzhen University, Guangdong, China 2013: Manipal University, Manipal, India 2013: MRC Research Centre, Cambridge 2011: AstraZeneca, Macclesfield, UK The good and the bad of this approach • Good – – – – Huge fun Great collaborations Interesting and challenging research Risk(?!) • Bad – – – – Risk Huge amounts of work Family/work life balance(?) Making life hard for yourself! Dan’s lab Clinical collaboration 2nd supervisor (collaboration) Project grant Project grant 2nd supervisor (collaboration) MRes MRes Out of the blue MRes Start-up, now on project grant CASE award (collaboration) How Aga started her lab 1. Used remaining consumables in my Henry fellowship to buy all the necessary bits of equipment and stuff to do experiments 2. Learning what people do around me and coming up with compatible project 3. Applying for many many fellowships 4. Getting lucky 5. Going for meetings, giving talks and posters… Uni Researcher - Royal Society David Phillips – BBSRC Dorothy Hodgkin - Royal Society Birmingham Fellows MRC Career Development (over 1 million, me and RA) Sir Henry Dale - Wellcome Trust Dorothy Hodgkin Birmingham Fellows (PhD student) Royal Society Dec 2010 Officially started the lab CRUK Career Development 2011 2012 £5k £2k 2013 £20k £2k £15k Let them know that you exist… • • • • • • Fellows workshop UoB - June 2013 (talk) CSHL conference - September 2013 (poster) EMBO Ubi-Ubl conference - October 2013 (talk) Cell Cycle Club - October 2013 (talk) GSN meeting - January 2014 (talk) International symposium “cell proliferation and genome integrity” Santander - April 2014 (talk) • Cancer Sciences away day – June 2014 (talk) Aga’s lab Final comments • Everything starts from data – – – – Conferences Seminars Papers Collaborations • Try to cultivate a positive and enthusiastic attitude • Things go wrong – keep going – move on!
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