Anna Wilkins, Crick postdoctoral clinical fellow, Erik Sahai’s lab
I’ve recently begun a postdoc in Erik Sahai’s lab and am working on the crosstalk between tumour cells and cancer-associated fibroblasts in response to treatment with radiotherapy.
My PhD was centred around a clinical trial in prostate radiotherapy which involved wet lab work for translational aspects of my thesis. However, I have had minimal experience of pre-clinical techniques, including cell culture, prior to starting at the Crick and so I’m pleased to be developing these new skills.
As I’ve just completed my Certificate of Specialist Training in Clinical Oncology I’m working at the Crick full time without clinical commitments (although clinical training can be done alongside the postdoc if desired), and I hope to obtain a Clinician Scientist post in the future.
I’m really enjoying the postdoc – the building alone is inspiring! The Crick has a collaborative feel and I get the impression that my scientist colleagues value the clinical perspective I can bring to the lab, as well as my capacity to facilitate access to clinical samples.
There are superb training opportunities at the Crick. So far, I’ve received formal training in cell culture, microscopy and image analysis and there’s opportunities for much more. There is also a really wide range of high quality lectures, Interest Groups and academic workshops that we are encouraged to attend regularly.
This means that the first couple of months of my postdoc have been highly educational. I’ve had a lot of help from the High Throughput Screening Suite already, and can see that some of the other Science Technology Platforms are likely to be helpful in the future.
I’d really encourage people to consider applying to the clinical postdoc scheme – there are a number of career-enhancing opportunities that are unique to the Crick, not to mention excellent collaborative possibilities.