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Christopher Blower

Graduated June 2017 - BSc Honours in Biomedical Sciences with Medical Microbiology.

Processing Scientist, Leica Biosystems

I graduated this past summer (2017) with a degree in Biomedical Sciences with Medical Microbiology. I now work for Leica Biosystems as a Bio-processing Scientist.

The intention to change my career brought me to university. Having worked for almost ten years in the telecommunications industry and not progressing very far within it, I decided to re-enter education and try my hand at the biological sciences; in this pursuit, I have been quite lucky and very successful. I managed to secure a lab position before graduating and started work almost as soon as my exams had ended. From the advice given to me by Prof. Colin Harwood and Dr Carys Watts, two of my second- and third-year lecturers, I applied for my job through an agency. Now, having spent almost three months as an agency worker I am looking to secure a permanent position within Leica.

Christopher Blower

Early on in my time at university, I realised how much I like practical laboratory work; this steered me towards medical microbiology as it was a very ‘practical heavy’ course. I also took advantage of an opportunity, during summer, to shadow and work with a lecturer in their lab so that I could gain even more lab experience. Doing this helped tremendously with my application and interview for Leica as I was then able to demonstrate a much stronger understanding of working in a lab environment.

I work in tissue culture and use the knowledge and skills that I gained at university daily. University taught me practical skills, such as pipetting, working aseptically and running ELISAs, that I now do as part of my job. I have a deeper understanding of the theory behind my job because of the immunology modules that I studied as part of my course. The core of my work is involved with antibodies and their use in cancer diagnostics; because of this I value the teaching I received, especially from Dr Andy Knight whose lectures, from all three years of my degree, helped me appreciate the intricacies of the immune system.

Shifting career and moving into the unknown was a large step for me, but the support of the university teaching staff and the options opened up to me by Newcastle University have given me the best start in my new career that I could have hoped for.