I went to City of Portsmouth Boys School and Portsmouth 6th form College. I then went onto study at Kingston University in Surrey
I qualified with an honours degree in Applied Chemistry. I’m also a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry and have Charted Chemist Accreditation with that orgnanisation
I am a senior process scientist
I work with Genzyme, A Sanofi Company
Favourite thing to do in science: Making bangs! Growing up as a child, I used to love fireworks. One time on the 5th November, my chemistry teacher made homemade fireworks in the classroom and from then I was hooked!
I ensure that we have enough manufacturing knowledge about how medicines or synthesised and formulated
In pharmaceutical manufacturing, product knowledge is not only important but expected. I work for Genzyme, A Sanofi company and work to supply patientst with rare diseases. The main product I work on is for Gaucher’s disease. This is a genetic condition with less than 10,000 confirmed patients worldwide. My role is to ensure that the knowledge we gain about the active pharmaceutical ingredient is built into how if is synthesised, formulated into a pharmaceutical dosage and packaged before being released to the patient.
This is especially important when manufactuirng medicines for rare diseases. The medicines might not be manufactured very often as the numbers of patients they are made for are very small. Therefore it’s critical that the history of product knowledge is well maintained and also that the instructions for manufacture are clear on the critical points for patient safety.
My Typical Day
it’s never the same
I am based in Waterford, where the product I work on is formulated and filled into capsules then packaged for market release. I work on documents that describe the manufacturing process for API and capsules in great detail and justify why certain process parameters are critical for product quality and why we need specifications to test and release at critical stages in the process.
The active pharmaceutical ingredient is manufactured in Switzerland, which means I need to travel over to visit that site a few times throughout the year. it can take a few months to manufacture one batch of API as it needs to go through multiple synthesis steps. The Quality Assurance people within Genzyme who check the active ingredient is ok to be released to Wateford are based in the USA, so i’m usually on the phone to some of them in the afternoon.
I’m part of a small but focused crew and I like the diverse nature of my job!
What I'd do with the money
I would like to work with primary schools in my area to promote science. 4th-6th Class is the right age to get kids interested.
One of the more rewarding parts of the job is to give something back to the community. I’ve been involved with Junior Achievement teaching science to a local primary school in my area. It would be great to epxand on this and use the money to perform a more long term science based project with them
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Determined, Curious and enthusiastic
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Depends on the day and my mood but Linkin Park or Gorillaz CD’s can usually be found in my car
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
everything seems more fun when you’re a child – what I remember as most fun was getting a tour of the aircraft carrier, USS America when I was in the cubs -we had to get a boat out to it as it was too big to get into Portsmouth Harbour. That was great fun!
What did you want to be after you left school?
I wanted to make fireworks
Were you ever in trouble at school?
nothing serious…I was too busy studying!
What was your favourite subject at school?
Chemistry (of course!)
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
I was part of the team that helped bring a medicine called ‘Cerdelga’ from development to commercial approval
What or who inspired you to become a scientist?
My chemistry teacher mostly with a bit of Albert Einstein and JR oppenheimer thrown in for good measure
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
A chef – I love food. You could say I’ve spun a bit of that into my career in science
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
that’s too hard . I’m happy as I am!
Tell us a joke.
An Aardvark walks into a Bar – The barman says…..’why the long face?’