Professor Skirmantas Kriaucionis

Associate Member of the Ludwig Insitute for Cancer Research

As a child, Associate Professor Skirmantas Kriaucionis was interested in science-fiction – particularly the works of Jules Verne. His mother used to bring him home books from the library near her work and he was fascinated by how in the stories science moved society forward.

Skirmantas studied Biology at Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania before studying Biochemistry at Vilnius University. He then received a Darwin Trust Scholarship to do a PhD at the University of Edinburgh. It was there in Adrian Bird’s lab that he fortified his interested in DNA modifications.  After his PhD he did a short post-doc at the University of Edinburgh before moving to the US to do a post-doc at the Rockefeller University in New York.

Skirmantas then moved to Oxford to set up his own research group in the Ludwig Institute studying the molecular function of DNA modifications in normal cells and cancer.

“One of the key features that brought me here is the breadth of science that is done in NDM. I visualised potential collaboration opportunities and that really inspired me to try and come here.”

“I arrived in Oxford when my wife was 6 months pregnant. With a family a key thing is to manage your time efficiently.” “I try and spend as much time as possible with my children in the evenings doing activities like reading books and playing games.”

“There is no single best path to become a successful scientist. If your career is deviating from the classical path, PhD, post-doc in US and then becoming a PI, this doesn’t restrict your ability to get there. Science is a very open community for talent, enthusiasm and creativity. If you have those and you aspire to do good science then there are no limits.”

“In NDM, the sheer amount of expertise that is available allows you to achieve more, learn from others, and enjoy the science. It is a great environment. I really like the campus. It is expanding; new buildings are being built and new groups are being recruited. There is this feeling that of movement, new ideas and new people.”