What does a typical day in your job involve?

Fortunately, there are no typical days at work. As I work in the assay development and validation team, projects I am involved in can vary from developing new assays and validating them for use in clinical trials to routine testing of samples. As all our labs strictly follow GCP/GLP guidelines and are frequently audited, all the work we perform need to be of high quality and accurately documented. I could be busy in the lab one day and could spend the next day at my desk doing paperwork.

How did you first learn about Almac?

I first heard of Almac when I was doing a PhD in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Ulster, Coleraine. Several PhD researchers I worked with were funded by Almac and it was easy to see the emphasis Almac puts on innovation.

How do you balance your career at Almac and family?

Even as a father of a two year old, I find it reasonably easy to maintain a good work-life balance. With flexible working hours/ shift patterns, I can effectively prioritize between work and family as and when needed.  We are encouraged not to take work home (in sharp contrast to being a post-doctoral researcher), so I get to spend quality time with my family after work.

How has Almac helped you in your career development?

I worked as a post-doctoral researcher in Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa before joining Almac Diagnostic Services. My biggest concern when I started as a Scientist in 2016 was how I was going to adjust to a GCP/GLP laboratory. With the advice and help of my colleagues, most of whom have an academic background and experience as post-doctoral researchers, I was able to adjust very quickly to Almac and was promoted to the role of Senior Scientist in 2018. With state-of-the-art laboratories that stay current with the trends in the field and with dedicated bioinformatics, biostatistics and quality teams, Almac has provided me with opportunity to further my knowledge and expertise not only in the lab but in all aspects of the industry.

What has been your favorite project at Almac?

The first project I was assigned to in 2016 was the analytical validation of a qPCR-based companion diagnostic assay. As this was a validation for pre-market approval, there was a lot of planning and independent work involved, which I really enjoyed. Being involved in such a big project early on also accelerated the learning process. The drug received accelerated approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2019 and it is very satisfying to have played a minor role in this and to see how the work we do directly impact patients’ lives.

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