ACDC: What’s in the name?

Eleftherios P. Diamandis
August 01, 2015

Having a distinct name like Eleftherios gives you a lot of advantages. People never ask you to spell your name, and they remember it without much trouble.

Ha! If only!

Eleftherios Diamandis and graduate students from the ACDC lab in tribute mode

When I make restaurant reservations, I simplify things by going with the name Elvis. Nobody has ever asked me to spell it, and I get a smile in return. When people ask me for the name of my research laboratory, I reply, “the ACDC lab.”

The usual response is, “I’ve heard that name before. Is it a band from the ’70s?”

But of course it is. And the follow-up question is always, “Does your lab’s name have anything to do with the band?”

Well, it does and it doesn’t. The name was chosen many years ago for two reasons: to celebrate one of my all-time favorite rock bands, AC/DC, and to outline the scope of my research laboratory – ACDC stands for Advanced Centre for Detection of Cancer.

I have tried repeatedly to reach out to AC/DC and let them know about the research laboratory that shares their name and is devoted to fighting cancer, but with no success. In fact, not only is the lab named after them, but to celebrate the music of AC/DC, we formed a rock band within the lab with me representing Angus Young (lead guitarist and music composer) and my graduate students playing the other members. We created a poster and shot a video of the AC/DC song “ Chase the Ace.”

Until recently, I thought naming a research lab after a rock band was rather unique. That changed when, in 2014, I met my friend and fellow physician and scientist Steven Boyages from Australia. Boyages revealed that he’d created a digital communications company and named it “Red Zeppelin” to celebrate the legendary rock band Led Zeppelin. The name is meant to connote inspiration, and capture the imagination and innovation of the band.

Eleftherios P. Diamandis

Eleftherios P. Diamandis is the chair in prostate cancer biomarkers and head of clinical biochemistry, Mount Sinai Hospital, and head of the division of clinical biochemistry in the department of laboratory medicine and pathobiology, University of Toronto.

Join the ASBMB Today mailing list

Sign up to get updates on articles, interviews and events.

Latest in Opinions

Opinions highlights or most popular articles

Why we're not printing the April issue
Editor's Note

Why we're not printing the April issue

April 02, 2020

One of the strangest things we ever did when I was in the newspaper business was print papers nobody would receive.

Research on a budget

Research on a budget

March 30, 2020

As a professor at a small university, Peter Lyons has developed ways of reaching his research goals with limited funding, and he shares some of them here.

This week's staff picks

This week's staff picks

March 28, 2020

Lunchtime doodles, blind love, addressing inequities, yoga breathing and more. Here's what the ASBMB staff has been reading, watching, listening to — and doing.

Science Twitter: Personal boundaries on a professional platform
Social Media

Science Twitter: Personal boundaries on a professional platform

March 25, 2020

“Success on Twitter has a different definition for every user ... I felt I needed to find the perfect balance of personality: one that is professional, intelligent, and advocates on behalf of meaningful causes but is still likable and relatable.”

The surprising comfort of learning objectives

The surprising comfort of learning objectives

March 24, 2020

As you work through the transition to remote learning for your class, let the learning objectives be your guide.

Science communication in action: COVID-19 edition
Science Communication

Science communication in action: COVID-19 edition

March 23, 2020

Our science writers selected 10 examples of solid scicomm about the novel coronavirus.