Profile

Bernard Maybury

Bernard Maybury, 2018 Crick-CRUK doctoral clinical fellow, Dinis Calado’s lab

I was exposed to the experimental basis of medical science during my undergraduate medical degree at Oxford, which provoked my curiosity about academic careers. I undertook laboratory-based projects for my intercalated degree and in my final elective period. I worked on two separate projects which both looked at mechanisms of DNA repair in bacterial and mitochondrial genomes. On graduation, I worked as a junior doctor in hospitals across the south of England and Wales, before embarking on specialist training in haematology in the Bristol region. 

I had been on the lookout for PhD projects when I met Jude Fitzgibbon, my secondary supervisor at Barts Cancer Institute/Queen Mary University of London, at a weekend meeting for haematologists with an interest in lymphoma. He encouraged me to apply for the Crick programme working in the lab of his collaborator, Dinis Calado.

A particular attraction was the central application system without a separate funding application, and the excellent central facilities available at the Crick. I was delighted to be accepted, after a very thorough interview process!

In the Calado lab I work with mouse models of high grade lymphoma, examining resistance to conventional immunochemotherapy and novel combinations, and the role of immune cell populations in mediating response to therapy. The in vivo work has some similarities with clinical medicine, whereas handling large sequencing datasets is a completely new challenge for me.

The breadth of expertise available at the Crick and the doctoral training programme makes it possible to rapidly adopt cutting-edge techniques.

Flow cytometry is our lab’s staple diet, but the breadth of expertise available at the Crick and the doctoral training programme makes it possible to rapidly adopt cutting-edge techniques.

In a laboratory-based speciality such as haematology, the lines between basic science and clinical research are particularly blurred, but I hope that my PhD will equip me to lead clinical research studies while contributing to and drawing on laboratory science.

Furthermore, complex laboratory diagnostics, including genomics, are becoming the bedrock of treatment for haematological malignancies, and a detailed understanding of these tests and their results will be essential for clinical leadership in the future.