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How to start a lab (and other stories) Dan Tennant and Aga Gambus

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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, DurГЎn 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
ВЈ15,000
ВЈ116,000
ВЈ160,000
4
ВЈ89,000
2014
5
6
ВЈ184,000
ВЈ6,000
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
ВЈ5k
ВЈ2k
2013
ВЈ20k
ВЈ2k
ВЈ15k
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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