Tom Martin

Lab manager

Ever since I was a child I have been interested in biology and how living things work. When I was very young I once asked my teacher a question that changed the course of my life. I honestly can’t remember the question, something about plants I think, but I remember the answer; no one knows. No one in the whole world knows the answer. This bothered me as up till then I naively assumed everything was fully understood and could be explained by a ‘grown-up’. The concept that something in the world around us was happening and we didn’t understand why or how, this excited me. I wanted to be the person that found answers to questions that had no answers.

This interest led me to a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Bath where I worked for one year in Cambridge at the Sanger Institute where the Human Genome was sequenced. I loved the idea that a vast amount of information was stored in such a complex and ultimately simple double helix. In Cambridge I also met my wife Frida, who persuaded me to move to Sweden to do a PhD.

I started my PhD in 2006 at SLU and My project focused on a fungal pathogen of Maize and Sorghum in Africa. I got to travel a great deal and work in a great lab, learning a range of techniques.  After my PhD I worked on two post-doc positions working with developmental genetics in moss and resistance genes in Salix species.

I then moved from research to a more technical role working as a Research Engineer at SLU and then later at Uppsala University. At Uppsala University I worked in the Molecular Medicine Research group. The research group was closely coupled to the SNP&SEQ Technology platform at SciLifeLab where they have world-class machines and platforms. I learned a lot there and loved how the cutting edge technology is making things possible now that couldn’t even have been imagined a few years ago. This led me into my current position as Lab Manager in the Ettema-lab. The Ettema-lab follows this line by using cutting edge technologies to push the boundaries of what is possible and in doing so they are producing ground breaking research that is rewriting our understanding of life. I am very excited to be part of a group that are finding answers to questions no one knows the answer to.