Journey to Genomics: Steve Conlan

Prof: Steve Conlan
Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology; Head of Reproductive Biology & Gynaecological Oncology 

Steve is a Programme Board member and Research Innovation lead for the GPW. He is also a founding Director of Europe’s first Centre for NanoHealth, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, Trustee of the British Society of Nanomedicine, and honorary consultant in Swansea Bay NHS University Health Board.

What inspired you to pursue a role in the field of genomics?

I ‘discovered’ genetics during A level Biology and have been hooked since! For my PhD, I sequenced half a gene, and during my first postdoc I used the first eukaryotic genome sequence i.e. Saccharomyces cerevisiae/brewers yeast extensively in my research. After completing a BSc in Biology I obtained my PhD from the University of London, and returned to a faculty position in Swansea University in 2000. Now I can’t ‘live’ without genomics and the power it provides, especially for biomedical functional genomics, which is a big focus of what we do in my research group.

What happens during a typical working day?

I lead the Reproductive Biology and Gynaecological Oncology [RBGO] group at Swansea University; a vibrant multidisciplinary group using molecular and cell biology, as well as biophysics, nanotechnology and computer science (machine learning and AI) to tackle pressing medical problems. The favourite part of my day is to sit down with our young scientists and discuss their research findings.

What advice would you give to those interested in joining this field?

Genomics is a multidisciplinary subject, so you can do a degree in other disciplines. It is cutting edge science; and can be applied to research in medicine, evolution, environment and for animals, plants, and microbes. So if these are things that interest you, then Genomics could be for you too.