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.

How important are practical lab skills?
Tim Hunt

How important are practical lab skills?

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?

Do you enjoy working in a team?
Tim Hunt

Do you enjoy working in a team?

How can you avoid competition?
Tim Hunt

How can you avoid competition?

How do you find creative new ideas?
Tim Hunt

How do you find creative new ideas?

Would you have been disappointed not to get a Nobel Prize?
Tim Hunt

Would you have been disappointed not to get a Nobel Prize?

Is failure important?
Tim Hunt

Is failure important?

What do you think is your greatest achievement?
Tim Hunt

What do you think is your greatest achievement?

Do good scientists have common traits?
Tim Hunt

Do good scientists have common traits?

Were you always interested in science?
Tim Hunt

Were you always interested in science?

What makes a good research problem?
Tim Hunt

What makes a good research problem?