Gary Yates, co-first author of A Recombineering Pipeline to Clone Large and Complex Genes in Chlamydomonas
Current Position: Senior Research Associate and head of product development at PharmaSeeds
Education: BSc (Hons) in Genetics from the University of Glasgow. PhD from the University of Durham.
Non-scientific interests: I was a professional musician for a number of years and I play a lot of musical instruments in my free time. I particularly enjoy writing and recording original music which I also self-produce. My favourite sport is Mixed Martial Arts and I enjoy the UFC, I also love North American Ice Hockey and follow the NHL closely each season.
I have been passionate about science all my life, I started to study genetics to better understand how genes control the biology of the animals and plants around us. I really enjoyed and excelled during the genetics problem solving modules of my undergraduate degree. I felt having a solid basis in genetics would be beneficial in any aspect of biology. I became increasingly interested in plant science, when choosing a PhD position, I put emphasis on leaving my comfort zone, which led to studying Post-translational modification. My PhD was very successful leading to several publications, from here I found I was in a strong position to select the right type of Post-doctoral work. I had gravitated towards photosynthesis as I saw this as the key fundamental process underpinning life on Earth. I then worked in the Mackinder lab at the University of York as a Post-doc focusing on the carbon concentrating mechanism of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Here I co-developed a novel cloning system for the species, spent time on secondment at Princeton University and contributed to a very busy and successful period for the lab.
Due to personal reasons I decided to leave the academic setting and engage in a start-up business which operates in the Cannabis industry. Here, I am head of product development and lead a very interesting program for crop improvement focusing on seed and plant health, legal and regulatory compliance, improvement of germination and plant vigour. Within this role I have set up collaborations with academic partners and I intend to apply for a fellowship to progress the R&D of the company.