Postcard: Professor Alan McCarthy in Georgia

Professor Alam McCarthy

Professor Alan McCarthy, from the University’s Institute of Integrative Biology, recently visited the University of Georgia in the United States.

“My three-day trip to the University of Georgia (UGA) was sponsored jointly by their Department of Genetics, Department of Marine Sciences and the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

“The focus of my research is the development and application of molecular biological techniques to analyse microbial activity in the environment. During my visit I gave a research seminar – which addressed the search for novel species and genes in the aquatic biosphere and beyond – to staff and students from across the life sciences at UGA. It was also streamed to those members of the Department Marine Sciences who were at sea!

“I also had extensive discussions on our submission of a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Traineeship Program in Systems Biology, in which the Institute of Integrative Biology is the international partner, providing specialised PhD training in environmental metagenomics, host-pathogen systems and the biological clock.

“The University of Georgia has international partnerships with a number of universities worldwide, of which that established with the University of Liverpool is their most productive. Before I left I met with the Vice President for Research, and Deans of the Graduate School and Franklin College to discuss the NSF Traineeship programme in the context of the overall collaborative arrangements between our two universities, together with shared observations on the higher education sectors in the UK and US.

“I also discovered that my old school friend, and best man at my wedding 40 years ago, lives in Georgia. I hadn’t seen him for 25 years, so we had a proper catch up before I came home… he hadn’t changed.”

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