University of Dundee

Paul Crocker looks back over his time as Head of CSI

06 Nov 2019

Paul Crocker is stepping down as Head of Cell Signalling and Immunology (CSI) after 5 years in the position.  While reflecting on his time in this role, Paul wanted to acknowledge the key people that made his job so much easier.

 “There are many people whose work behind the scenes is absolutely vital to the smooth running and productivity of our research divisions.  In CSI we have had outstanding individuals whom I would like to thank for their hard work and dedication during my period as HoD.  When I took over from Colin Watts in 2015, Kirstie McArdle was our Divisional Secretary and Yvonne Lindsay was our Lab Manager.  Over the years we’ve had a succession of fantastic secretaries, including Anna Zsubori, Helen Currie, Sara Salvaterra and most recently Pamela Johnstone.  Likewise, our Lab managers and support staff have been amazing in their ability to quietly get on with running the division to allow everyone to focus on their research projects. After Yvonne left CSI in 2017, we’ve been very lucky to work with Marianne Reilly and, most recently, Jackie Heilbronn and Nancy Kirk.  They have been superbly supported by our technical staff Leanne Park, Barry McMahon, Jade Gordon and Courtney Morgan.

I would like to say a warm thank-you to the students and postdocs who organised amazing Christmas parties and helped tremendously with our divisional retreats and public engagement events, especially Tsvetana Petrova, Claire Gorby and Julia Marchingo.  A particular pleasure for me was to work closely with staff and students in CSI to establish ‘Incredible Immunology’ as a biennial Public Engagement activity, inspired by MMB’s ‘Magnificent Microbes’ created by Nicola Stanley-Wall and colleagues.  Incredible Immunology would not have been possible without the brilliant help of Erin Hardee who did all the hard work behind the scenes and made it happen on the day.

A vital activity in all divisions is recruitment of new PIs and I am very grateful to all of my colleagues for enthusiastically embracing this process and for meeting and entertaining the many visitors to CSI over the last few years. Finally, I would like to thank Simon Arthur for being my Deputy, for attending the meetings I could not get to and for his sage advice and sense of humour.  I am delighted to be handing over the reins to Simon and wish him all the best in his new role.”

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