We spoke to Uloaku, our culture and technical team lead at the Cambridge Genomics Laboratory to find out more about her role.
Uloaku describes her role as culture and technical team lead
What does your role involve?
I take care of the day-to-day activities within the culture team. The team includes healthcare science practitioners, associates and genetic technologists. They collect samples from sample reception and then process and culture them. This means that we grow them in vitro. We then harvest the cells so that they can be put onto a slide and stained so the scientists can analyse the chromosomes under the microscope to give a diagnosis.
What is your typical day like?
A typical day is very busy; there’s never a dull moment. I ensure that the team is running smoothly so I have the correct amount of staff across all processes. I am also involved with the health and safety and quality aspects to make sure that all the samples that we receive are processed in a timely and safe manner.
I liaise and work very closely with the scientists and other teams across the lab to make sure that we have a robust diagnostic service.
What routes are there into this type of career?
There are various routes into this career. I studied Applied Biology as my undergraduate degree, applied to a diagnostic lab as a medical laboratory assistant and then worked my way up. There are also apprenticeship routes to get into this type of career.
What are the benefits of working in the NHS?
There are so many benefits to working in the NHS. We have a fair and transparent pay structure and are quite flexible in our approach to work so, for example, working mums get the necessary support.
Do you have any advice about pursuing this type of career?
My advice to young people who want to pursue this type of career would be to make sure that during their uni education they do the sandwich year and try to work within diagnostic labs so they can experience working within the lab structure.
What do you like about your role?
What I like most is impacting people’s lives in a positive way. Right from when I was little, I’ve always wanted to have a job that adds value to people’s lives. Working in the NHS provides the perfect opportunity to do this.