Insights from

Nobel Laureates, for scientists everywhere

Tim Hunt

Tim Hunt

Tim Hunt is an emeritus ‘Principal Scientist’ at Cancer Research UK. He was born in 1943 and grew up in Oxford until moving to Cambridge to read Natural Sciences in 1961. He did his PhD in the Department of Biochemistry entitled “The Synthesis of Haemoglobin” (1968).

Dr Hunt spent almost 30 years altogether in Cambridge, at first working on the control of protein synthesis, with spells in the United States; he was a postdoctoral Fellow at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine from 1968­–1970 and spent summers at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, from 1977 until 1985. In 1982, he discovered cyclins, which led to a share of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, with Lee Hartwell and Paul Nurse, “for their discoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle”.

Dr Hunt has written two books, “The Cell Cycle: An Introduction” (with Andrew Murray) and “Molecular Biology of the Cell: The Problems Book” (with John Wilson).

Dr Hunt also sits on numerous scientific advisory panels, and is a member of the advisory board of laboratories across the world. He chaired the Life Sciences Panel for selection of European Young Investigators, and was chairman of the council of EMBO. He is a member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC).

Dr Hunt is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, a Member of EMBO, a Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Member of Academia Europaea. He was knighted in June 2006. He is married to Mary Collins, who is Dean of Life Sciences at University College London, and they have two children.

What relationship do you have with your students?
Tim Hunt

What relationship do you have with your students?

How should scientists deal with competition?
Tim Hunt

How should scientists deal with competition?

What should you do if your approach isn’t working?
Tim Hunt

What should you do if your approach isn’t working?

Do you enjoy collaboration?
Tim Hunt

Do you enjoy collaboration?

What makes a good lab?
Tim Hunt

What makes a good lab?

How did you choose your PhD adviser?
Tim Hunt

How did you choose your PhD adviser?

Is teaching valuable?
Tim Hunt

Is teaching valuable?

Is it important to work abroad?
Tim Hunt

Is it important to work abroad?

How do you know if your research is on track?
Tim Hunt

How do you know if your research is on track?

Is it important to enjoy lab work?
Tim Hunt

Is it important to enjoy lab work?

What do you find satisfying in science?
Tim Hunt

What do you find satisfying in science?

Which modern scientists inspire you?
Tim Hunt

Which modern scientists inspire you?

Does having a family affect people’s careers?
Tim Hunt

Does having a family affect people’s careers?

What are your interests outside the lab?
Tim Hunt

What are your interests outside the lab?

Should you move on when you’ve solved a research problem?
Tim Hunt

Should you move on when you’ve solved a research problem?