Dr. Brian Cusack

Brian Cusack

Brian Cusack (born in 1972) comes from Cork, Ireland. He holds a B.Sc. from Imperial College, London, a Master’s degree from Leeds University and a Ph.D. from Trinity College, Dublin. Brian is a native English speaker and speaks German as a second language.

Brian first moved to Berlin in 1996, after completing his B.Sc. in Biology. Working in a large genomics laboratory at the Max-Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics convinced him that wet-lab biologists must master the bioinformatics tools needed to analyse their own data. This experience encouraged Brian to pursue a Master of Research degree in Bioinformatics. Brian’s Master’s thesis sparked an interest in molecular evolution, leading him back to Ireland to pursue a Ph.D. in Genetics at Trinity College, Dublin. It was here that Brian received key education in scientific writing and communication. In a uniquely collaborative research group, Brian received the kind of mentoring that he continues to consider as the gold-standard for graduate students. After completing his first postdoc at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris in 2008, Brian returned to his favourite European city and to the Max-Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, this time as a post-doctoral researcher in the field of evolutionary genomics.

In 2011, Brian combined three distinct roles as a post-doctoral scientist. First, as a researcher, he published as a first-author in PLoS Genetics, work that became the focus of a PLoS Perspectives article and a Research Highlight in Nature Reviews in Genetics. Second, as an administrator, Brian co-organized a Summer School for graduate students, using his enthusiasm for both evolutionary genomics and Berlin to negotiate the presence of several high-profile teachers in the city. Third, as a funding applicant, Brian applied to the Volkswagen Foundation to perform advanced postdoctoral research in Münster and successfully reached the final evaluation round in January 2012. This presented Brian with the choice between re-locating to pursue a research career and dedicating himself to supporting research and its communication in his adopted Heimat. In February 2012, Brian made the decision to co-found Science Craft in Berlin.

Brian can be contacted directly at brian.cusack@science-craft.com


Dr. Rick Scavetta

Rick Scavetta

Rick Scavetta (born in 1978), is originally from Toronto, Canada. He completed his B.Sc. at the University of Toronto, his M.Sc. at the University of Calgary, and his Ph.D. at the University of Cologne, Germany, conducting research at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology. In addition to Canada and Germany, Rick has also conducted parts of his training in Singapore and Iran. Rick is a native English speaker and speaks German as a second language.

Throughout his academic career, Rick has consistently been engaged in student leadership, actively promoting the personal and professional development of his peers. This began as an undergraduate, when he served as the Equity Issues Commissioner on the Student’s Council, and continued to his doctoral training, when he initiated the organization of a student-run two-day symposium. During his doctoral studies, Rick began exploring Scientific Communication by attending a two-week Scientific Communications Workshop at The Banff Centre in Canada and through blogging.

Rick began his transition from the laboratory to a research support role while working as a post-doctoral researcher in the Mass Spectrometry Core Facility of the Max Delbrück Center in Berlin. The demands of this position helped Rick to develop his professional skills in three key areas. First, interaction with fellow scientists cultivated Rick’s ability to communicate problems and solutions effectively. Second, working with large data sets required Rick to expand on the data analysis skills he began developing as a graduate student. And third, Rick took on a teaching role while training colleagues and graduate students in both scientific writing and data analysis.

As a co-founder of Science Craft, Rick combines his infectious enthusiasm for science and its communication with a unique ability to inspire life scientists in their career development. In addition to leading workshops at Science Ccraft, Rick has also developed on-line training courses at Data Camp and offers consultation and individual contract work combining data analysis and communication.

Rick can be contacted directly at rick.scavetta@science-craft.com