Which independent fellowship do you hold and what is your main research goal?
In 2016 I was awarded a Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellowship to establish my own group in the School of Biosciences here at the University of Birmingham. I am interested in various aspects of nuclear RNA biology with a special focus on transcriptional processes. My aim is to understand the role of RNA metabolism in the regulation of gene expression in normal and diseased eukaryotic cells.
What was your academic background prior to the award?
Previously I held a Wellcome Trust PhD studentship at the University of Warsaw in Poland to investigate transcription termination and processing of ncRNA. I then held an EMBO Long-Term Fellowship for postdoctoral training in the Proudfoot lab at the University of Oxford where I was investigating transcription termination and processing of ncRNA. My focus has consistently been on RNA biology.
What attracted you to your fellowship?
I was attracted to the prestige that a Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale fellowship brings. The chance to set up my own lab also appealed to me. The University of Birmingham is also co-located with the Institute of Microbiology and Infection (IMI) and the Birmingham Centre for Genome Biology (BCBG), which provides good potential for research links.
What notable outcomes have arisen from your fellowship so far?
I have established an interdisciplinary ‘RNA Club’ between the School of Biosciences and the School of Medical and Dental Sciences to exclusively present and discuss RNA biology data. Please visit my Grzechnik lab website if you wish to know more about my work.
Do you have any advice for fellowship applicants?
My advice is to be proactive and to be driven - be responsible for your own progression. Do not rely on others to get things done, and make sure to check the terms and conditions of any contracts and paperwork.