I wanted to let you readers of my blog that a huge change is coming for me. At the end of February 2018 I’ll be leaving my job here at CRUK and am joining Astra Zeneca as the Director of a new R&D group. 

My time at CRUK has been formative for me and I am genuinely sad to be leaving. The Institute gave me a fantastic opportunity almost twelve years ago and I’ve been able to help deliver many successes across a huge variety of projects. I’ve also been able to work with some great people doing some great science. I will miss interacting with so many people here at CRUK-CI, and across Cambridge in our Sequencing collaboration, and also with many of you as my new role shapes me and my blog.

Over the past ten years I’ve been a heavy user of some very cool Genomics technologies from many different companies: Illumina, 10X Genomics, Agilent, New England Biolabs, Nanostring, Qiagen, IDT, Lexogen, Fluidigm, Dolomite Bio, Sphere Fluidics to name but a few. And obviously a big user of Illumina’s sequencing technology (the posts on this blog are testament to that), and more lately Oxford Nanopore’s MinION. I am still amazed at how far we’ve come in ten years and it has been an incredibly fun ride. Being able to hear about a new technology one year and to be able to run it the next (e.g. Nanostring’s Hyb&Seq at AGBT ’17) shows how fast the pace of development can be.

I want to say thanks to the people who hired me at CRUK (Bruce, Carlos, James, and the other faculty). Thanks to my team in the Genomics Core lab: Sarah, Nik, Michelle, Hannah, Claire, Sara, Christian, Fatimah, Inma, Sarah, Ros, Jess, Marta, Tom, Johanna, Paul, Joaquin, Kasia, and Ioannis. Thanks to Matt, Rory, Richard and Anne in our Bionformatics core. Thanks to all those users who’ve sent samples – some of them left CRUK-CI and now know what it is like without our support! Lastly I’d like to say good luck to the Institute’s new director Greg Hannon – you’ve got a great Institute, have fun!

Blog highlights

The main highlight has been speaking to you at conferences or seeing comments and retweets of things I’ve written. It has astounded me that so many people read what I write. My most highly cited paper was published in Nature in 2012 and has 2076 citations. The piece I wrote the same year, “How do SPRI beads work?”, has had over 150,000 page views! Last year I moved across to this new Enseqlopedia domain after five years of blogging on Google’s Blogger. I’ve not had the time I would like to revamp the Goglemap as much as I’d like. And the wiki is almost there, but still not exactly what I’d like (watch out for a post in January on this). However the move has been fun and I’ve enjoyed posting – although my output has suffered in the last few months due to a mini-sabbatical and the recruitment process…oh; and being extremely busy in the lab of course!

The blog will continue but over time the content may change. I hope many of you will stay with me, and some new people will start reading in the diagnostics community.

Do you want my job?

CRUK-CI are looking for my replacement right now and a job went live yesterday, apply online here: http://hrsystems.admin.cam.ac.uk/recruit-ui/apply/SW14392

PS: AGBT 2018

Unfortunately this means 2018 AGBT is off my agenda and I’ll be taking a family holiday instead.

I had planned to organise a trip out to the Orlando Gun Club to shoot. They have shooting packages starting from $89.99 for the .308 setup, which includes Gun Rental, 9mm, .44 Magnum and 12 gauge shotgun experiences. Warning “THIS PACKAGE HAS HIGH POWERED FIREARMS WITH SUBSTANTIAL RECOIL (MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS)”!