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Meet Dr. Leszek Lisowski

Leszek Lisowski is a global vectorology expert with over 15 years of experience in developing and manufacturing viral vectors for human gene therapy. He currently holds two positions at Children's Medical Research Institute (CMRI): the Vector and Genome Engineering Facility Manager and Translational Vectorology Group Leader.

Q: How did you come to work at CMRI?
 
It was like ‘love at the first sight’. I met Professor Ian Alexander and his team in 2011 at a meeting of The Australasian Gene and Cell Therapy Society and in that moment I decided I would one day move to Australia and work with them.
 
Over the next few years Ian and I began collaborating. He introduced me to CMRI and the institute’s mission to improve children’s health, a mission that was very well aligned with my own personal goals and life interests. I was very excited to be offered the opportunity to help Professor Patrick Tam and Ian establish a new core facility dedicated to providing viral vectors and genome editing services to CMRI’s investigators. The rest is history…
 
Q: What does a day in your life look like?
In addition to my double role at CMRI, I run a research group in Poland and play an active role in a company I started with friends from Stanford University. It all keeps me very busy.
 
Almost every morning I have a conference call at 5 or 6am so I wake up quite early. I take those calls in my pyjamas with a coffee in hand. During the day, I attend to administrative duties and meetings.

As important as these meetings are, a few months ago I felt I was losing connection with my research. 
That’s why I assigned myself a bench in the lab, and started to run my own projects. This was a good decision as I really enjoy my time in the lab.
After a full day, I usually finish eveyrthing work related around 10pm.
 
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job, and what are the biggest challenges?
I enjoy being involved in many different projects (either directly or through collaborations), and meeting new people and learning about their exciting work. The biggest challenge is to accept the fact that each day has only 24hrs and I can’t do everything.
 
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
One of the new projects we work on is related to improvement of AAV manufacturing in order to facilitate translational development and production of GMP material for clinical studies. 
 
Q: If you hadn’t taken up your role at CMRI, what would you like to be doing? 
I enjoy travelling and learning about new cultures. If I wasn’t at CMRI I would like to work as a scientific consultant, traveling and learning about many different projects worldwide.