An old friend says hello...

An old friend says hello...

2005 Young Researcher of the Year, David Bryant brings us up to speed on his career journey post-Cure Cancer Australia funding.

Dr David Bryant

Dr David Bryant

We do our best to keep in touch with all our wonderful alumni, but – having funded well over 300 individual researchers to date – it can sometimes be hard to keep track! Which is why we were especially pleased to hear from our 2005 Young Researcher of the Year – PhD Award, Dr. David Bryant just a few weeks ago.

David dropped us a note to let us know how his career has progressed since we first funded his grant over ten years ago. We were delighted to learn that David is now a Senior Lecturer and Junior Group Leader at the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute in Glasgow, UK. He has had his own lab, working on prostate cancer, since 2014.

‘I have the award for this prize hanging on my wall in my office, and I look at it every day,’ says David. ‘This award meant, and still does mean, so much to me. It gave me the confidence and set me on the track to believe that I could lead my own research group one day, dedicated to working on cancer.’


Beatson Institute, UK

Beatson Institute, UK


Life after Cure Cancer Australia funding

After receiving funding from Cure Cancer Australia, David went on to become a PhD student with Jenny Stow at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland. Once he finished his PhD in 2006, he began studying a postdoc with Prof. Keith Mostov at the University of California, San Francisco (2006-2014).

David moved away from cancer research for his postdoc, instead working on developmental cell biology. He worked on 3-Dimensional culture systems, which have seen a huge surge in popularity in recent years. David also collaborated on a number of bacterial pathogenesis studies, and was lucky enough to publish a series of successful papers, which helped him start up his own lab.

In 2014, David took up the Senior Lecturer position at the University of Glasgow, Institute of Cancer Science, with a joint appointment at Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, where his lab is based.

‘I always knew I would come back to cancer research,’ explains David. ‘My lab has been working on using 3-Dimensional culture models to understand tissue architecture loss during cancer progression. We’re working to develop computer-assisted machine learning to allow us to much more rapidly understand how cancer cells become metastatic.’

The Scottish Connection

Strangely, David is not the first 2005 Young Researcher to have left Australian soil for the slightly less sunny climes of Scotland; ‘Prof Andrew Biankin [Young Researcher of the Year 2005, alumnus 2006] is in the building next to me, so yes it is quite curious’ he laughs. ‘Sean Grimmond - who was at UQ when I was there - was also here for a time. There is definitely an Australian-Scottish science connection’.

Our alumni Liz Musgrave and Antonia Pritchard are also in Scotland, respectively based in Glasgow and Inverness.

We’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate David, and all of our alumni in every corner of the world, on their fantastic achievements. If you’re ever back on home soil, our door is always open.

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