Randox and Ulster University to invest £5m in new Industrial PhD Academy
Randox Laboratories and Ulster University have launched a £5 million skills development initiative to support up to 10 individuals annually through PhD level study in the Life Sciences sector.
The Randox-Ulster University-Industrial PhD Academy, which aims to encourage the development of advanced, higher level skills in key industry sectors, will further reinforce Ulster University’s position as one of the top universities for biomedical related research impact and, enhance Randox’s competitiveness in the growing global healthcare sector.
Up to ten PhD researchers will be supported annually, including Randox employees and individuals from the wider sector, who are working on a range of scientific projects, with the ultimate goal of new product development. They will have the opportunity to work on new research projects, driven by industry and jointly supervised by Ulster University and Randox, to enhance their own individual skill sets whilst delivering groundbreaking advances in the life sciences sector. Ulster University and Randox will each fully fund up to five PhD researchers annually.
To date PhD researchers enrolled in this new programme of Industrial Research have started exciting projects in areas of medicine including mental health, diabetes and cancer, with more projects being developed. All projects share the common goal of delivering new diagnostic approaches for early detection of disease and earlier intervention where possible.
Professor Alastair Adair Deputy Vice-Chancellor Ulster University said:
“Ulster University is renowned globally for research in personalised medicine, cancer, diabetes and mental health and this makes us the perfect fit for a global industry leader like Randox. Ulster University and Randox have a longstanding partnership built around research, knowledge sharing and collaboration which has placed both organisations at the forefront of diagnostics and health research globally.”
Ulster University Professor of Personalised Medicine Tara Moore, said:
“The life sciences sector is of critical importance to our economy and health. To truly maximise our contribution to the economy and to fully exploit new advances in science and technology we must focus on advancing the skills of our workforce, ensuring the most talented people reach their full potential by working with partners to tackle new challenges and drive new discoveries. A strong and growing life sciences sector ensures patients will continue to benefit from new technologies which will help to improve diagnosis getting them the treatment they need quickly.”
“This new Industrial PhD Academy is a further step forward in our commitment to respond to national priorities such as the Industrial Strategy, aligning the research community with industry to drive innovation, building on the world-leading reputation of Randox and supporting a new generation of researchers in this strategically important sector.”
Dr Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, said;
“At this time of rapid and significant change in the UK, it is critical that the next-generation can meet industry’s ever-changing demands. The current STEM skills shortage costs the economy £1.5bn/year and will only be resolved if all companies in the sector recognise they have a role to play now too.
“In the last 4 months, we have made significant investments within Northern Ireland, in both R&D infrastructure and now in helping aspirational scientists at Ulster University to develop the critical skills to make a positive difference to patient healthcare around the world. We are unapologetically ambitious in our determination to cement Northern Ireland’s reputation as a global hub for life sciences and our own position as a worldwide leader.”
For further information about the Randox UU PhD Academy please contact Randox PR by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 028 9442 2413
The Evidence Evolution utilises Randox’s cutting-edge Biochip Array Technology, offering diagnostic testing from a single sample. The Evidence Evolution boasts 2640 tests per hour and when put to the test against our competitor machines, the Evidence Evolution gives a true walk away time of up to 2 hours, meaning staff can fully load the machine and get up to 44 results from each sample every minute, while they get on with important laboratory tasks.
The Evidence Evolution has been designed to meet the needs of a variety of laboratories. Delivering quality results, efficiently and economically in forensic and clinical immunoassay locations.
The Evidence Evolution is the latest development in our Evidence Series range, which was first launched in 2002. This trusted technology is powered by Biochip and is used throughout the world in a range of different sites for clinical, toxicology and food testing. The Evidence Series has a range of analysers that can meet the need of any laboratory.
An Ulster University marketing student has won the top spot in global healthcare manufacturer Randox Laboratories’ annual Student Placement Awards.
Matthew Steele from Bushmills fought off stiff competition from fellow placement students in science and engineering programmes by attracting the judges’ attention for the work he carried out within two new and novel ventures taken on by the company.
In recent years, the founder of Randox Laboratories, Dr Peter FitzGerald, has extended his business portfolio to include the Bushmills-based Dundarave Estate and Cherryvalley Farm in Crumlin. Matthew’s focus has been to develop and promote tourism activities at the Estate, such as clay pigeon shooting, as well as Cherryvalley Farm produce. He worked with the company’s IT department and Finance team to complete various projects and created a digital communications strategy.
Additionally, when Matthew was faced with the familiar catch-all that employees may find themselves asked to carry out additional tasks, he won plaudits within the company for stepping in to dip sheep on one occasion!
Speaking after the awards ceremony Matthew commented;
“Placement has been amazing for me and I would encourage everyone to do it. The year has gone so quickly, because you get thrown in straightaway. You’re not seen as a placement student – you’re a member of staff right from the start. This experience has given me so much, widening my business knowledge and teaching me so many new skills. It’s been great.”
Department winners in the engineering and science placement programmes are respectively Ulster University student Dale Love from Ballymena and Jamie Boyd, a Queen’s University Belfast student from Cookstown.
Across the company, 39 university students took part in this year’s placement programme. Lasting 50 weeks, the initiative provides young people with the experience needed to pursue a career in their chosen field.
Linda Magee, Head of Randox Human Resources, commented;
“We are delighted for all our winners in this year’s placement awards. Matthew, in particular, impressed us with creative and successful strategies, and the wholehearted approach he brings to working with us. The Randox Placement Programme is one of our most important initiatives, because gaining industry-experience is now critical for young people. Randox is committed to developing meaningful ways of supporting them, and we are encouraged year after year by the calibre of students who apply to join us.”
For further information about the Randox Placement Awards please contact Randox PR by email: email@example.com or by phone: 028 9442 2413
Biochip Vs ELISA
Showcasing the journey and ongoing brand evolution of Randox Toxicology, these videos will help you to discover which method is right for you!
Episode 1: Meet ELISA
Episode 1 “Meet ELISA” uses speed reading to showcase Randox Toxicology’s extensive and ever-expanding ELISA test menu, including our range of New Psychoactive Substances, drugs of abuse, stimulants, analgesics and sedatives. Manufactured in the United Kingdom, our continuous reinvestment in research and development has enabled us to develop a range of exclusive ELISA kits such as, Mitragynine, MT-45, and U-47700 which was involved in the death of the famous singer Prince.
Our cost effective ELISA kits are the highest quality on the market and results provide excellent correlation with confirmatory methods, typically <10% CV.
Episode 2: Meet Biochip
Based on ELISA principles, Episode 2 “Meet Biochip” illustrates Biochip Array Technology as a solid-state device with discrete test sites onto which antibodies specific to different drug compounds are immobilised and stabilised. Moving away from traditional single analyte assays, Biochip Array Technology boasts cutting-edge multiplex testing capabilities for rapid and accurate drug detection from a single sample.
As the primary manufacturers of Biochip Array Technology, Randox Toxicology offer the most advanced screening technology on the market. With the world’s largest test menu capable of detecting over 500 drugs, Randox Toxicology are changing the landscape of drugs of abuse testing.
Episode 3: Biochip Vs ELISA
Episode 3 “Biochip Vs ELISA” gives you the opportunity to hear from a professional! Laura Keery our Senior Research and Development Team Leader gives you a behind the scenes look at our Biochip Array Technology and ELISA products in action at our new Science Park, answering some of those must know questions.
Episode 4: Biochip Vs ELISA 360-Degrees
If you missed it at SOFT-TIAFT 2017, our Biochip Vs ELISA 360-degree video allows you to experience Biochip and ELISA in action.
Discover which method is right for you! #biochipvselisa
In the month of May alone, over 20 cases of feed and cereal based products have been rejected at EU borders after testing positive for aflatoxins with a risk decision level marking of ‘serious’, countries of origin include; Turkey, Egypt, Gambia, U.S, Indonesia, India, Azerbaijan and Spain.
The European Union have set tolerance levels for Aflatoxin B1 at 2 parts per billion (ppb) and total aflatoxins at 4ppb for nuts, cereals and dried fruits.
Aflatoxins are a mycotoxin produced by a fungus and thrive in hot and humid climates. Aflatoxin B1 is the most prevalent among food products and commonly occur among cereals (including wheat, barley, rice and corn) oilseeds (peanuts, almonds, pistachios and other nuts) spices, fruits, vegetables, milk and dairy products.
Screening for Mycotoxins
There are various screening methods available for mycotoxins in food, but few offer the choice of screening for multiple mycotoxins from one sample. Randox Food Diagnostics has created patented Biochip Array Technology (BAT), an immunoassay ELISA based method, to save the feed and cereal industry time and money on testing.
The Myco Array kit range can screen for 3-10 mycotoxins simultaneously from a single sample and depending on the users testing requirements, customisable kits are available.
For more information on mycotoxin screening with Randox Food Diagnostics contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Wild Atlantic Adventure Race (WAAR) boasted another successful competition on Saturday 12th May 2018 as over 600 competitors braved the challenging but exhilarating course.
The event, sponsored by Randox Teoranta for a fourth year and hosted by Naomh Mura GAA club, gave competitors a choice of two courses that included cycling, running and kayaking.
As promised, this year’s Wild Atlantic Adventure Race delivered an incredible display of stamina, strength and perseverance as outdoor pursuit enthusiasts once again completed the demanding 55.5km course or 39km sprint.
The full Wild Atlantic Adventure Race features a 10km run, 42.5km cycle, 2km hike and 1km kayak, starting and finishing at CLG Naomh Muire, Mullaghderg, Co. Donegal. Set along one of the most beautiful natural coastlines in the world, the west coast of Ireland was once again proud to play host to one of the most challenging yet enjoyable races in Ireland, featuring both novice and elite individuals, as well as several relay teams.
Congratulations to Marty Lynch who won the mens’ solo race with a time of 2hrs 22mins 33seconds and to Sonia Knox who won the womens’ solo race in a time of 2hrs 51mins and 11 seconds.
Dr. Ciaran Richardson, Head of Research & Development at Randox Teoranta in Dungloe, said:
“We are delighted to, once again, partner with WAAR. The event is a real test of physical wellbeing and here at Randox, we take our on-going work to promote positive physical and mental health very seriously. In the last few years, our labs in Dungloe have led the way in world-leading diagnostic research in a wide range of areas including Alzheimer’s disease, kidney disease, cancer, gastrointestinal disorders and stroke.
The Wild Atlantic Adventure Race was a great success and we congratulate all the enthusiastic competitors who took part.”
The full list of WAAR 2018 results can be viewed here.
For more information on Randox Teoranta, please contact the Randox PR team at RandoxPR@randox.com or phone (+44) 28 9442 2413.
It’s been almost a month since the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed Prince Louis into the Royal Family, and as reported it was a natural birth with no complications.
But caring for a newborn baby in the first few hours of its life isn’t quite as simple as it may have seemed in the picture-perfect media coverage of Kate and William introducing their third child to the world for the first time.
Behind the doors of the hospital maternity ward, doctors and nurses are busy carrying out a wealth of tests to ensure the health of the neonates in their care. Because the time immediately following a baby’s birth is crucial for their development in the coming months.
Newborn babies are particularly at risk for some diseases because their immune systems aren’t yet developed enough to fight bacteria, viruses and parasites. Just a few minutes after a baby’s arrival, they will be poked, pricked, measured, tested, examined, cleaned and swaddled – all in the name of making sure they are – and importantly, remain – healthy.
The first test to be conducted is usually an Apgar score – a simple assessment of how a baby is doing at birth, to help determine whether they are ready to meet the world without additional medical assistance. Based on heart rate, colour, reflex response, activity, muscle tone and breathing, the Apgar score ranges from zero to ten, with anything above seven or above being considered a healthy score. Babies with a score below seven will have their issues addressed – it could be something as simple as moving them to a warmer room until they are able to maintain their own body temperature, or clearing their nose and mouth for more efficient breathing.
The baby is then weighed and measured, and may be given antibiotic eye ointment to prevent infections, and vitamin K to prevent clotting problems.
They will also have their pulse, abdomen, genitals, fingers and toes examined, and their Ballard score taken. This takes into account head circumference, chest circumference and length, to confirm gestational age.
A paediatrician will then assess risk factors for infection and ensure that the baby is feeding well. They will also check for jaundice, which causes yellowish skin when bilirubin, a compound formed by the liver, isn’t being broken down properly.
Neonatal jaundice is extremely common, because during the first week of their life nearly every newborn develops a somewhat elevated bilirubin level, which could potentially lead to jaundice. And the good news is, that if diagnosed early, jaundice can easily be eradicated, by exposure to a specialist light that can help break down bilirubin.
At Randox, we offer a test for bilirubin to diagnose and monitor newborn jaundice, which, in rare cases if left untreated, can lead to brain damage. Early, accurate diagnosis is therefore imperative and so to ensure the precision of the bilirubin tests, Randox also offers Acusera Bilirubin Elevated Quality Control.
The baby will also have their heel pricked for a variety of metabolic conditions including sickle cell anaemia, which causes red blood cell destruction. The Randox test for haptoglobin, a protein found in blood plasma, can help to diagnose sickle cell anaemia.
Or if the baby is premature, they will remain in the hospital nursery. Depending on how premature the baby is there will be different types of tests and treatment given, but they will have their temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate closely monitored. These vital signs will be checked regularly for the first few hours of the baby’s life.
So as you can see, within just a few short hours newborn babies are kept incredibly busy. Procedures may vary from one hospital to the other, but one thing is for sure: neonatal tests are vital in determining and protecting the health of babies.
Randox is committed to saving and improving lives – at any age and any stage of life.
Our innovative diagnostic technologies are versatile and easily adapted for use in the paediatric setting – keeping your baby healthy now and into the future.
For more information on neonatal health tests available from Randox, please email email@example.com or phone 028 9442 2413
If you work in a company with safety-critical roles it is more than likely that you have some sort of workplace drug and alcohol testing policy in place. Even companies without safety-critical roles are implementing these policies to further ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of their staff.
Employers hold the responsibility to ensure employees are fully aware of the company’s rules, regulations, testing and disciplinary procedures.
The policy itself holds vital importance, providing employees with the knowledge of the standards expected of them, whilst educating themselves with information provided in a written comprehensive manner.
The importance of implementing a policy
The most important element of a workplace drug and alcohol testing policy is SAFETY. Drug and alcohol use increases the probability of workplace accidents occurring. Studies have found that employees who have alcohol problems are 2.7 times more likely to have an accident whilst at work. The main issues associated with substance misuse relate to:
- Absenteeism – it’s estimated that 17 million days of work are lost per year due to substance misuse.
- Low productivity levels – employees may reduce output in different tasks and become de-motivated.
- Inappropriate behaviour – some cases of substance abuse may lead to crime.
- Aggressive behaviour towards others – resulting in loss of employment / convictions
It’s evident that many who suffer from drug & alcohol abuse are in employment. Studies show 25% of those in employment were registered drug addicts with 3.3% of all adults aged 16-59 classified as frequent users.
Significant issues such as these provide growing concerns for employers to implement a workplace drug and alcohol policy, to ensure the welfare of each member of staff is considered. Under the Health & Safety Act 1874, employers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees is fully met in order to maintain standards.
The importance of a workplace policy for drugs and alcohol can benefit employers by:
- Building relationships with employees by showing there is help and support available.
- Policies can raise awareness of issues in the business and can encourage staff members to take action if needed.
- It can reduce the number of sick employees, reduce staff turnover and increase productivity levels.
Speak with us directly
We understand that the importance of having a policy that suits the specific needs of your company. In order to fully achieve this, we offer a free policy review service, where we will review your company’s existing documentation to gain an understanding of how we can help going forward.
We are delighted to announce we will be attending the Safety & Health Expo 2018. The annual event, running from 19th – 21st June and held at the Excel London, is the UK’s largest health and safety event with over 13,500 national and international key industry professionals across construction, manufacturing, government and consulting.
By attending this prestigious event we hope to engage with a range of stakeholders to discuss how our drug & alcohol testing services can have a positive impact on your employees and business.
If you are attending this event and would like to speak with us, please stop by our stand M410 to speak with one of our experts.
Alternatively, if you would like to arrange a meeting with us prior to the event, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org, and quote Safety & Health Expo 2018 at the beginning of your message.
For more information on workplace drug & alcohol testing, visit www.randoxtestingservices.com.
What makes Randox the successful, innovative and forward-thinking company it is today are the passionate, hard-working and talented staff we’re lucky enough to call our colleagues.
Our staff are our best asset and across every division our team help to save lives – whether it be designing the newest Biochip to test for Alzheimer’s disease, developing the latest software for use in hospitals and universities or managing our global offices, to ensure our pioneering health technologies make their way across the world to where they are needed the most.
Our headquarters are in Northern Ireland, but we have teams based all over the world, including in Donegal, Ireland, where Dr Ciaran Richardson heads up the Research and Development Team.
We sat down with Ciaran to ask him about his role in Randox, to find out what inspired him to become a scientist, and of course to discover what makes working in Randox Teoranta in Donegal so special.
Ciaran, can you tell us a little bit about your role at Randox Teoranta?
My name is Ciaran Richardson and I am the Research and Development Manager at the Randox Teoranta facility based in Dungloe in County Donegal. I have some operational responsibilities at the facility but I primarily focus on working closely with the Research and Development scientists here. They use unique Randox technologies to develop next-generation diagnostic tests for prevalent human diseases such as stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic kidney disease, gastrointestinal disorders and thyroid disease. What’s particularly interesting is that we don’t focus exclusively on human conditions. The team at Randox Teoranta is constantly evaluating new technologies and methodologies with a view to continuous evolving how we approach our work and we are currently developing veterinary diagnostic tests.
What kind of research takes place at Randox Teoranta?
More than 50% of the workforce in Dungloe are employed in Research and Development positions. Our teams of R&D scientists are using a world-first technology that is unique to Randox called Biochip Array Technology. This technology allows you to place multiple diagnostic tests on a single biochip and this can then be used to test for many different biomarkers in a sample of blood. This is in stark contrast to traditional diagnostic methods that perform one test at a time on a sample of blood.
But it’s not only scientific research that we undertake at Randox Teoranta. It is critically important that our hardware keeps pace with the new diagnostic tests that we are developing. We have a highly skilled team of R&D Engineers that are developing next generation diagnostic analyser systems for Randox. We have electronic, mechanical, embedded systems and software disciplines all working together to develop new analysers that enable effective and accurate reporting of results from our diagnostic tests.
We also have significant manufacturing capabilities at the site in Dungloe. We have a dedicated department for manufacture of the Randox biochips and a further department for manufacture of the Randox family of analyser systems.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I manage a broad spectrum of R&D projects so my days can be quite varied. I could be meeting with our different scientific teams or managing ongoing projects that we have with various collaborators throughout the world. R&D is a rewarding but challenging field and it is very important that we react quickly to problems as they arise. I therefore spend lots of my time meeting with the scientists to review data so that we can make strategic decisions to move things forward as efficiently as we can.
Did you always want to be a scientist?
The short answer is no. My father was a businessman and my mother was a teacher, but she said I didn’t have the patience to be a teacher. I must admit she was probably right! My passion for science came to the fore when I studied Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics at Pobalscoil Chloich Cheannfhaola in Falcarragh. I went on to study Biotechnology at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and then undertook my PhD studies in Cancer Research at the University of Wales College of Medicine in Cardiff. I then spent the next five and a half years working at the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit at the University of Dundee.
When our first daughter was born in Dundee we decided we wanted to move back to Donegal but my job prospects there, as a scientist, were slim. I did, however, apply for a role in Randox’s County Antrim headquarters which I was delighted to get. 18 months later, I was asked to become the R&D manager at a brand new Randox site in West Donegal. The rest, as they say, is history. Science can be a challenging career but it is extremely rewarding to think that the work we do at Randox Teoranta has the potential to not only improve people’s lives, but extend them far beyond expectancy.
What’s your favourite thing about working here?
My drive to work is surrounded by the most fantastic scenery. I feel privileged that I have been provided with an opportunity to return home to west Donegal to take up such a challenging and exciting position in the field of science just 20 minutes from my doorstep in Gweedore.
Working at Randox Teoranta allows me to spend more time with my family as I have such a short commute and I haven’t had to re-settle my family from our native Donegal for me to follow my career dreams. We have four children and a dog so you can imagine how busy things can be! When I get home in the evening I enjoy spending time with my wife and children. I work hard during the week and then the weekend is family time.
Can I find my dream career at Randox Teoranta?
We’re expanding our workforce which means there are plenty of opportunities at Randox Teoranta. From placement student roles to permanent positions, we’re always on the lookout for the right candidates in various different fields – from manufacturing to research and development, administration to mechanical, electrical and electronic design engineering and software development to administration. At Randox Teoranta, we’re involved in world-leading science and technology every day. It’s amazing to think that your dream role in global innovation could be right on your doorstep in beautiful Donegal.
We are delighted that Ciaran has found his dream job with us at Randox in his native Donegal. He is a real asset to our global healthcare company and we’re proud to have him as part of our team.
For more We Are Randox stories about our amazing colleagues, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and follow the hashtag #WeAreRandox.
For current vacancies in our team, visit careers.randox.com
Who is the 2018 Balmoral Show’s healthiest person? That’s a question Randox Health is posing at this year’s event, as it announces details of an interactive challenge ahead of this week’s event.
Anyone over the age of 16 can take part by visiting the Randox Health stand and taking part in the True Age Challenge. It involves a Body Composition Analysis (BCA) machine which assesses 25 different areas of your body including the ratio of muscle to fat, bone density, hidden visceral fat and cellular hydration levels.
But it’s the reveal of a person’s ‘true’ or metabolic age that can really leave people amazed!
The #TrueAgeChallenge winner will receive a FitBit Blaze each day of the Balmoral Show. They will either be the single person with the greatest difference between their body age and ‘true’ age as determined by the BCA, or if there are multiple people with the same age difference, they will be entered into a draw.
Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of Randox, commented:
“The True Age Challenge is a novel way to highlight the importance of finding out the current state of your own personal health. For many people, talking intimately about our health can be taboo so we’re working to start that crucial conversation that sparks a desire within people to take control of their health. Our ambition is to help people extend their lives, and live healthier for longer.”
Local well-known names, Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster President James Speers and Downtown Radio presenter Kirstie McMurray are looking forward to taking part.
James Speers, President of the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster, said of the challenge:
“It’s shaping up to be another great year at Balmoral and the Randox Health True Age Challenge is a fantastic way for people to get a quick overview of their health while at the show. I’m looking forward to partaking in the challenge – hopefully I’ll be pleasantly surprised!”
Downtown Radio and Downtown Country presenter, Kirstie McMurray, commented:
“When I heard about the Randox Health True Age Challenge I was keen to have a go! I’ve been going to a gym regularly for a year now and I’m interested to see the difference that has made to my health. Fingers-crossed I’m a few years ‘younger’ than my real age!”
Randox Health will be on stand A7 throughout Balmoral Show 2018.
Follow Randox Health’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to find out about our #TrueAgeChallenge and daily winners.
For more information about the #TrueAgeChallenge, please contact Randox PR on 028 9442 2413 or email RandoxPR@randox.com
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