In the first instalment of our Staff Profile series, we spoke to one of the Department’s newest members, Dr David Riglar.
Introduce yourself – who are you and what do you do?
I have just started a lab in Structural and Synthetic Biology as a Sir Henry Dale Research Fellow. My lab uses a combination of synthetic biology and imaging approaches to better understand the bugs that live inside our guts, which together make up our microbiome, and why they are so important for our health.
When did you join the College, and where were you working before this?
I joined the College in June, having moved from Boston where I was a postdoc at Harvard Medical School. Before that, I did my PhD at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia, where I also grew up.
What are your first impressions of Imperial and the Department?
I am really excited to be joining a new Department that is so diverse and interesting. Everyone has been very welcoming and helpful as I find my feet (thank you!).
What have you found to be the biggest challenge so far in taking up your new role?
Moving internationally with an infant has provided plenty of challenges – both expected and unexpected.
And the biggest highlight?
Putting the first “Riglar lab” label on my new equipment.
What are your aspirations for the next five years?
Primarily to build a great team of inspired and talented people within my lab. With this as a basis, I hope we can push forwards the microbiome and synthetic biology fields, whilst having a good time together in the process.
When you’re not working, what are your main passions and hobbies?
I love cooking, baking bread and making cocktails.
If you were exiled to a desert island but allowed one luxury item, what would it be?
A yacht? But if I really had to stay on the island, probably a coffee machine.
And finally: what’s one thing you’d like staff in the Department to know about you or your role that we haven’t already covered?
While I did my PhD in Australia and postdoc in the USA, I did have some ties to Imperial College before coming here, as my PhD supervisor was Jake Baum, who is now a Professor in the Dept of Life Sciences.