Photo:

Panos Soultanas

I will be in the office all day today..!

Favourite Thing: I love doing research. I get very excited when we discover new things and publish our findings in science journals. I also enjoy teaching students particularly when the students are interested, enthusiastic and hard working.

My CV

School:

Bedford College of Higher Education (1982-84)

University:

Sheffield University 1984-1987

Work History:

Bristol University, University of Crete, Oxford University

Employer:

University of Nottingham

Current Job:

I am a Professor of Biochemistry & Biological Chemistry

Me and my work

University Professor of Biochemistry

I am a Professor of Biochemistry & Biological Chemistry at the University of Nottingham. My work is divided equally between teaching undergaduates, supervising research students and postdoctoral workers, carrying out research and various administrative jobs within my School and also within the University.

I am from Greece and came to the UK in 1982 to study Biochemistry because this subject was not offered by Universities in Greece at that time. I did my A-levels at Bedford College of Higher Education (Maths A, Chemistry A, Physics B, Biology C) and then did my BSc degree in Biochemistry & Microbiology at Sheffield University (1984-87), where I was also awarded a research studentship by the Yorkshire Cancer Research Campaign to do my PhD (1987-90). Subsequently, I did a number of postdoctoral research projects at Bristol (1990-94), University of Crete (1995-96), Oxford (1996-00) before moving to Nottingham in 2000. In between, I had to do my obligatory military service in the Greek Army (1994-95). That was an “interesting experience”.

I am married to Lisa for 20 years (she is from Sheffield) and have two daughters 18 and 15 years of age. My eldest daughter is currently doing her A-levels to go to University. She hopes to go to UCL. My youngest daughter has started her GCSE’s. We all love music (many different types). I am a mad basketball fun (watch a lot of NBA games) and support Sheffield Wednesday FC (I am bit upset as they have just been relegated to league 1). Last year on my 46th birthday I got a puppy dog (English Pointer and Grayhound cross) as a present and named him Leo. He is now grown big and I spend a lot of my free time playing and walking with him. He is a great character.

 

 

My Typical Day

my days are all different, but during term-time i have to give lectures, attend big meetings and teach my students

When i come into work, first thing i do is answer and clear out my emails (this has to be done to keep my work organised). Then, i talk to my group of students and post-docs (these are researchers) adivising them on research matters involving experiments. Afterwards, i deliver my lectures and attend meetings to and with different important people across the University. I do this to plan and carry out administration duties (safety matters, building improvements, training, courses etc). I try to find time to do lots of scientific reading and studies to keep up with new discoveries everyday. When i come home from work, the first member of my family to greet me is my dog, Leo. I try to take him out to the park as often as i can as this makes both him and me happy.

What I'd do with the money

Support a UK-based under-priviledged student.

I would support an underpriviledged student to attend the NACON conference in September in Sheffield. This is the best UK conference specializing in Protein/Nucleic Acids interactions. This investment would aim to inspire the student to follow a career in Science.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

mad, loud, free

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Coldplay and Bob Dylan

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Climb Mount. Olympus (the biggest mountain in Greece!)

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

Cure Cancer, Bring Peace to the World and walk on Mars!

What did you want to be after you left school?

I wanted to be a Biochemist

Were you ever in trouble at school?

No never. Always respected and listened to my teachers.

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

I (with my co-workers) solved the first crystal structure of a DNA helicase bound to DNA back in 1997. We published our discovery in Cell (a very famous, prestigious science journal) and this paper is a landmark paper in the field of DNA helicase research.

Tell us a joke.

What is the dullest element? …. Bohrium