Dr Peter Oliver is an Associate Professor at the University of Oxford and MRC Programme Leader. This entertaining and informative chat reveals how Peter’s research follows the genes, as opposed to starting with a disease. For example, his lab identified a family of proteins when gene mapping a mouse mutant with a distinctive pathology, linking to a form of epilepsy. Peter covers the important skills required by a researcher, such as: the ability to make mutually beneficial collaborations, writing skills for publications and grant proposals; and the flexibility to take on new techniques as the research evolves. He also gives us an insight in to publication review and the many creative ways of sharing academic research.