Anna Louise Thomlinson

Anna Thomlinson

Healthcare Laboratory Technician

Anna's job title is Technician Scientist at Achilles Therapeutics

What I do

I work beside scientists in a department which deals with the clinical production of personalised cancer therapies. We take samples from patients, then manipulate them in the lab to create a drug product which will help treat their disease.

Hear more about Anna's role by watching the video below...

How I became a technician

A typical day
in my working life

I work from 9 am to 6 pm in the production department. We are currently getting ready for clinical production of a medicine which means getting equipment validated, making sure the protocols are correct and getting trained on equipment. We have meetings every morning to run through what the team is doing. Then I’ll typically gown up and head to the clean rooms. I do a lot of stock checks to ensure we have enough of everything. I also deal with deliveries of samples and the in-comings and out-goings. I work really closely with Quality Control and Quality Assurance to make sure everything is in accordance with the way it should be. I’ll often work in the clean room for a couple of hours and then do paperwork and get things signed off. It tests your skills, but it is really good.

A little more about my everyday role

What I love most about my job

My favourite part of the job so far has been gaining responsibility in the clean room. When I first joined the company and went into the clean room it was the first time I had been in that environment. Once I had all my access and training so I could go in independently by myself, I felt really proud – it was a wow moment. I started picking up more and more so now I do more in the clean room than I do behind my desk.

The best bits about working in a team

We have a production team of about 15 which includes production scientists, a senior production scientist, myself and another technician. The two of us often work together to help our production scientists. Even though it’s independent work it’s all to help each other. Every day I learn something from the production scientists - theory, how things work or what the equipment is for. They teach you so much.

The next steps in my career journey

I hope to become a production scientist within the company so that I am on the front end of making medicines. I would like to focus on cancer research and become a research scientist.

Who I admire

I admire scientists because they are often underappreciated yet the work they do is phenomenal, ground-breaking even. They sometimes don’t get enough credit, but they are doing it because they love it. I always wanted to have a job that I have a passion for, so it doesn’t feel like work.

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