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Alan Dickson started scientific life as a biochemist (BSc, PhD, University of Edinburgh) and since then he has learned to be as mutli-, inter- and cross-disciplinary as any one person can be to apply a breath of knowledge to address real-life scientific questions. Industry collaboration was “found” in the 1990’s and since then all research has either been collaborative with industry or focused on the industrial context. The underlying theme for his research has been the cell factory – looking at the fundamentals that control, power or direct cells towards specific functions, specifically those that have application for recombinant protein production.