Collaboration, not silos

‘We have to work together nowadays. No one can know everything.’

So says Professor Peijun Zhang, Director of eBIC, the Electron Bio-imaging Centre, which is a few steps away from RCaH. eBIC houses high-end microscopes, enabling Peijun’s research, which requires high-resolution cryo-EM of frozen-hydrated biological samples.

Besides the availability of cutting-edge facilities that yield excellent results, another advantage of being on the Harwell campus is the collaboration. Such collaboration facilitates Peijun’s research: for instance, the CCPEM (Collaborative Computational Project for electron cryo-microscopy) group installs and tests all her software, other RCaH scientists optimise her samples, and there will be strong links with the Rosalind Franklin Institute when it comes into being in 2020.

‘People here share everything – there’s lots of collaboration and information exchange, with shared resources and shared outcomes. It’s a very open attitude – the very opposite of a silo mentality.’