Name: Hannah Rowe
Lancaster University BSc Biochemistry (2:1)
Lancaster University Biomedical Science conversion
After uni: Healthcare Science Practitioner - Public Health England
Hannah currently works for the Manchester Medical Microbiology Partnership (MMMP), which is a collaboration between Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT) and Public Health England (PHE). MMMP was set up to provide central and south Manchester with a reliable microbiology service.
Meningococcal Serogroup C conjugate vaccine: This is more commonly known as the meningitis C vaccine. Since the introduction of the Men C vaccine in 1999, cases of group C bacterial meningitis have been reduced by greater than 90% across all age groups.
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV): There are over 100 forms of HPV that affect the moist linings of your body and it is actually a very common infection, but for most people it has no effect. The high-risk types of HPV are the ones associated with cervical cancer, for which the virus is usually implicated with. Regular cervical screening is important, ladies!
What does a ‘Healthcare Scientist Practitioner’ do?
Within the MMMP, I work in the vaccine evaluation unit (VEU). My work is laboratory based, which is what I enjoyed the most at university. Vaccinations have interested me since learning about their discovery by Edward Jenner when studying the history of medicine at high school, so this job seemed like a good fit for me. The VEU was also integral in the implementation of the Meningococcal Serogroup C conjugate vaccine in the UK. The department also has an active research programme; currently we are looking into [new research] for Human Papilloma Virus.
Did you go straight into this job after uni then?
After obtaining my degree, I decided I wanted to work in healthcare, so I looked into NHS jobs and ‘biomedical scientist’ struck out as exactly what I wanted. However, as I didn’t have a Biomedical Science degree, I couldn’t apply. So, I stayed at university another year to complete extra modules in cellular pathology, clinical biochemistry and transfusion science to gain the biomedical science accreditation in order to apply.
What methods did you use to look for those types of jobs?
I used a lot of job search websites such as Total Jobs, Monster, and NHS Jobs. I also have a family friend that works in the microbiology department of Royal Preston Hospital and she gave me a tour around the department and some advice regarding applications that was very useful.
What’s in the future for you, career-wise?
I’m thinking about completing my portfolio to become a biomedical scientist part-time alongside my current job. Further on from that, possible a PhD specialising in immunology. I’m trying to stay flexible and gain as much experience as I can as it’s essential within my field.
BIG QUESTION: who is your favourite science fiction character? And why?
So my favourite sci-fi show has to be Futurama, I used to watch it with my brother and it’s hilarious! I think my favourite character is Leela as she’s smart, brave and self-assured… and she’s also got some pretty sweet martial arts skills!
Interview By Rowan Taylor