24 February 2015

Behind enemy lines: a medic goes native among the scientists (Part Three)

Professor Mark Pallen

In my previous post, I talked about how I entered the world of laboratory medicine, first as a clinical academic gaining my MD at Barts, and then doing my PhD at Imperial College.

In this, my final piece, I'll talk about my focus on basic research, the challenges faced by clinical academics and how advances in technology eventually led me back to translational research.

Making a living from basic research

In late 1998, my fellowship finished and I returned to my old job at Barts. The first year back was very exciting, as I got stuck into analysing bacterial genome sequences that were being sequenced at the UK’s new genome sequencing centre, the Sanger Centre.

17 February 2015

Behind enemy lines: a medic goes native among the scientists (Part Two)

Professor Mark Pallen

In my first post, I talked about my experiences as a medical student and a junior doctor, my growing interest in clinical research and how I decided I wasn't suited to front-line medicine or surgery.

This week, I'll be talking how how I progressed from being a house officer to life in laboratory medicine.

Specialist training in Medical Microbiology

I decided to look at laboratory medicine as a career choice—an option often termed “Pathology” within the UK system. When I asked for advice from the local microbiology professor, J. D. Williams, I was surprised to be offered a job as a temporary lecturer in Medical Microbiology at the London. And so, without much forward planning and a heavy dose of serendipity, I embarked on a career in microbiology.

10 February 2015

Behind enemy lines: a medic goes native among the scientists (Part One)

Professor Mark Pallen

Allow me to introduce myself. I am Professor of Microbial Genomics at Warwick Medical School and I have been here since April 2013.

Although I was once, like you, a medical student and then a medic, I am now a full-time non-clinical academic. I thought I might share my academic journey, highlighting some of the pivotal points in my career, illustrating how I made a living behind enemy lines, as medic going native among the scientists, while also showing how I had some fun along the way.

Learning points (some of them tongue in cheek) are highlighted in the boxes below.