Kim Dahlman Brown: 2016-2017 SEASR President, Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University
1. Tell Us About Yourself
I am currently Assistant Professor of Cancer Biology at Vanderbilt University and the Director of the Innovative Translational Research Shared Resource at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. I did my graduate work with Drs. Harold Moses and Jennifer Pietenpol at Vanderbilt University in the same department where I am now faculty. After my graduate work, I went to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for my postdoctoral training with Dr. Charles Sawyers. It was at Memorial where my love of translational cancer research grew. Eight years ago, I returned to Vanderbilt to start a shared resource that assists oncologists with the design and execution of pre-clinical and clinical trial correlative research. It was easy to return to Vanderbilt due to the strong institutional support of shared resources, collaborative nature here, and fantastic leadership in the Cancer Center. I didn’t necessarily train to direct a shared resource, but I followed my research interests and here I am. I absolutely made the right decision. I love what I do!
2. How did you get involved with ABRF?
I first heard about ABRF at the Midwest Association of Core Directors and Southeastern Association of Shared Resources joint annual meeting that was held in Nashville in 2014. It was great to see a national organization support the efforts of shared resource directors, managers, administrators, and staff. I learned quite a bit at the meeting and met some fantastic people. I wanted to get involved with the organization and after that meeting I was fortunate to join the SEASR Executive Committee. In 2015-2016 I served as the SEASR Membership Coordinator and in 2016-2017 I was the President of SEASR and sat on the ABRF Chapters and Affiliates Board. Being involved with SEASR and the ABRF has been an incredible experience. I work with an amazing group of people who are all passionate about supporting shared resources.
3. What aspect of ABRF has been most useful for you?
Networking! I meet people from all over the US who face the same issues that I do and I learn a lot from them. Not only that, but I have established some great friendships along the way.
4. What was your most memorable ABRF moment?
My most memorable ABRF moment was having dinner with the Professors Sir Shankar Balasubramanian and David Klenerman from the University of Cambridge at the 2017 ABRF Annual Meeting. They are the inventors of “sequencing-by-synthesis” and were the 2017 ABRF Outstanding Contributions to Biomolecular Technologies award winners. SEASR and Vanderbilt University Medical Center contributed to the award, so I was able to attend the dinner. I do a lot of cancer genomics, leveraging next-generation sequencing, so it was great to hear about their sequencing journey first-hand.
5. What is the most fun you've had at an ABRF meeting?
It has to be at the Opening Reception of the 2016 SEASR meeting. It was at the Wisteria Lanes bowling alley at the Emory Conference Center. I think that I was on team “Spare Me”. The 2018 SEASR Annual Meeting is going to be at Emory again and we’re planning on hosting the bowling tournament. It was a lot of fun.
6. What keeps you an ABRF member?
ABRF is truly committed to supporting the needs of shared resource directors, administrators, managers, and staff. Scientists who work in shared resources have distinct needs that are not always met by their institutions. That is where ABRF comes in. ABRF promotes advances in biotechnology, through its research groups, publications, and sessions at the annual meeting. Uniquely, ABRF also supports the education and career development of shared resource scientists.