On the journey to the Randox Health Grand National…Rule The World returns to Mouse Morris’ stables in Tipperary

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On the journey to the Randox Health Grand National…Rule The World returns to Mouse Morris’ stables in Tipperary

On a crisp and sunny winter morning in the County Tipperary countryside, Grand National 2016 winner Rule The World returned to the busy stables that prepared him for his victory over Aintree’s fences.

Trainer Mouse Morris had not seen his winning horse since he made the decision to retire him earlier this year,  and so the launch of the Randox Health Grand National 2017 was an emotional reunion for all involved.

Winning jockey David Mullins was also there to welcome back his Grand National partner. His win with Rule The World was a fantastic introduction to the world’s most famous race – a victory on his very first attempt!

And the team from Everardsgrange Stables in Fethard fancy their chances at another Aintree victory – this year entering three horses in the Randox Health Grand National, including Irish Grand National winner Rogue Angel.

Morris explained;

“There is no point in sleeping if you don’t dream.  To win the Grand National with him would be a dream come true.”

Stuart Penrose, Global Marketing Manager for Randox, was excited for the journey to the Randox Health Grand National 2017 to begin;

“The Grand National is a massive race right across the world, and this year the teams expect the new broadcaster ITV will deliver an audience in excess of 12m. While we’re a global leader in the business world, we are now launching ourselves as a company with direct interaction with the public through our Randox Health clinics and we couldn’t have picked a better way to broadcast our message.  We are extremely happy.”

Eamon Lenehan, Global Marketing Manager, commented;

“It is truly one of those events that transcends the sport. I think what really resonated with us is that it is known as ‘The People’s Race’, and so our commitment to improving people’s lives through health is a great fit.”

While the race is so accessible, its popularity and wonder also lies in its unpredictability.  Rule The World, a horse who’d been carefully brought back from a twice fractured pelvis, won the race in 2016 as a maiden over fences.

John Baker, Aintree Managing Director, rounded off a wonderful day at Mouse Morris’ yard by saying;

“Hopefully we can write some more history next year.”

Listen to the full interviews with Mouse Morris, Eamon Lenehan, Stuart Penrose and John Baker, with Racing Journalist Dave Keena below!

For more information about the Stable Visit, please contact randoxpr@randox.com


We Are Randox | Randox Artist-in-Residence Joe McGuinness on his passion for art, his love of drawing and his plans to release a second novel

Through our We Are Randox stories we aim to showcase all our employees’ skills and talents and with a dedicated workforce of over 1400 people we are always spoilt for choice! 

This week we sat down with artist Joe McGuinness, who joined our team only six weeks ago, to hear all about his passion for art, his love of drawing and his plans to release a second novel.

“I was about seven years old when I first realised that I was going to be an artist. I remember my mother was pregnant with my baby brother, she was unwell and I found her curled up on our sofa. So I went and got some paper and a pencil and decided that I was going to draw a portrait of her. To this day I can still remember the expression on her face when I showed her the finished piece. It was her reaction and the look in her eyes that kicked me off and I knew in that exact moment that art was going to be a big part of my life.”

As Joe went on to study Art and Design for three years at the Rupert Stanley College located in Belfast he found himself more interested in learning about the history of artists’ lives and what inspired them to produce art.

“I love the works of Paul Gauguin, Paul Cezanne and Vincent Van Gogh and I am fascinated by his life.  There has been many an afternoon where I have just sat down and looked up as many channels as I can to find out more about him and how he lived. Similarly to Van Gough I tell a story or a personal journey that I have been on through my art. I do have an emotional connection to some of my art, they mean a lot to me and I wouldn’t part with them.

“My favourite piece is a piece called “Lock and Key.” There is a lock and a key hidden in the picture and I will only reveal where it is to the person that I pass it on to.”

“It’s great when I get to barter with my art.”

“I was once asked to do a painting of a friend’s house up in Donegal. So I said I would if they gave me the keys of the house so I could go up and stay in it for a week in August with my wife. There was another occasion when I was asked from a friend of a fella originally from County Antrim if I could reconstruct an old dwelling that he grew up in. It turned out he was a multi-millionaire who is now about 90 years of age living out in New Zealand.  Sometime after I had sent the painting to New Zealand I received a letter back from his wife. She said when he first saw the picture he cried. It’s now his pride and joy, and has been placed in his study where he sits and looks at it. I find that incredible and that’s what makes me glad that I am an artist.

“I like to draw while I’m away on holidays, I find that I can relax in the good weather and just sit and draw. I remember back when I was in Milan, there was this little fountain spouting water. It wasn’t famous or of much interest to the passers-by but I thought it would make a beautiful picture. So I sat down and started to draw it when a gentleman came and asked could he join me. It turned out that he was a professional photographer from Paris and loved my art work. It’s great when you can make friends out of something that you love. “

“Through my art I have met a range of friends all over the globe, from France, to Rome, Sicily, Milan, Australia, it just goes on.”  

“Most Saturdays you can find me downstairs in the Conway Mill. I sit and draw next to where my artwork is displayed and people sometimes like to look on and watch while I’m drawing. My favourite type of medium to paint with is acrylics but I can teach a range of different techniques. Wax etching is a beautiful technique which I learnt whilst I was studying art. Sometimes people stop and ask me questions about my pictures or about certain techniques and I would invite them back the following week to join me.”

 “In my first ever exhibition I sold about 90% of my work.”

“It feels incredible to say that my art has been bought by people all over the world from New York, Europe and as far as Australia. The great-great niece of the famous Ned Kelly has some of my work. I have also donated work to Autism New York to help raise money for autism which is a cause I am very passionate about.

“In the future I would like to get more involved in the design aspect of art. I have been asked if my drawings could be used for prints for duvets covers and also for pottery and vases which would be great so I’m going to start looking into that. I’m also currently looking at property in Alvor in Portugal- that’s where I want to be in nine years’ time. My hope is that I can retire there and open up my own art academy. There is nothing greater than a group of artists sitting together and talking art and learning from each other. I’m also working on some illustrations for my second book that is based on events that have happened throughout my life. I think it will be a much deeper Joe than what you got to read about in my first book, ‘Rainbow over the Black Mountain’.

“My wish for the future, when I’m gone is for museums across Ireland – north and south – to have their pick of my art collection. In some of my paintings that I sold I have hidden letters inside the frame explaining the inspiration behind the painting, just to add that little extra personal touch to them. Sure you never know, in a hundred years’ time someone might find some of my letters… now wouldn’t that be a story worth telling!”

**Joe would like to offer a special thanks to Maureen Shields (Supervisor) and Cathy Hurrell (HR) and to the rest of Randox staff and employees. Following Joe’s time with us he added “You’re a great bunch of people.” **

Thank you Joe for spending the time to discuss your art work with us. We can’t wait to read your second novel and see all the wonderful images that will come with it.  

For more information about our wonderful mulit-talented team here at Randox, please contact randoxpr@randox.com


Randox Diagnostics: Leading the Field in Equine Health

We wouldn’t be the experts in Equine Health we are without our team of highly knowledgeable and experienced veterinary scientists.

Dr. Sarah Gildea, Senior R&D Scientist at Randox Teoranta in Dungloe, Co. Donegal, Ireland, has a BSc Equine Health, a PhD in Equine Influenza Virus, and spent many years working in the Virology Unit of The Irish Equine Centre prior to joining our team.

 

‘Randox Diagnostics: Leading the Field in Equine Health’

by Dr. Sarah Gildea BSc PhD, Senior R&D Scientist at Randox

“With over 30 years’ experience, Randox is a leading specialist in the development of veterinary diagnostic solutions. Our extensive product portfolio includes diagnostic reagents, quality controls, external quality assessment (RIQAS) and the Rx series of clinical chemistry analysers which are specifically designed to monitor the general health and well-being of a diverse range of animal species.

“Long established in the equine market, our clinical chemistry analysers provide the largest and most comprehensive test menu available and are used extensively to monitor the health and nutritional status of horses all around the world. In addition, our clinical chemistry tests can also be used for therapeutic drug monitoring, assessing reproductive fitness and as an indirect method in the diagnosis of certain equine diseases/conditions.

“Equine infectious anaemia (EIA) otherwise known as “swamp fever” is a viral disease affecting horses which can cause intermittent fever, anaemia, emaciation and eventual death.  Although the disease is not always fatal, infected horses can become disease carriers thus posing a significant risk to other equines.  Hence, rapid diagnosis is of fundamental importance.  In a study carried out in Romania where the virus is endemic, a novel link between oxidative stress (measuring Total Antioxidant Status, Superoxide Dismutase and Glutathione Peroxidase) and EIA viral infection was established (Bolfă PF et al., 2012). The assessment of oxidative-antioxidative status in blood has also been investigated for a variety of other equine diseases and a correlation between oxidant-antioxidant imbalance and exercised induced pulmonary haemorrhage (Mills and Higgins, 1997), equine motor neuron disease (Delguste et al., 2007), recurrent airway obstruction (Deaton et al., 2006), joint disease (Dimock et al., 2000), endometritis and colic (Krumrych et al., 2013) has been identified. Such findings highlight the broader use of clinical chemistry tests in studying the pathogenesis and pathomechanisms of equine diseases.

“The increased participation of equine athletes in different sports and disciplines has resulted in a rise in the incidence of joint problems, with osteoarthritis now a common finding among performance horses.  Similar to all athletes, the equine appendicular skeleton is under extreme pressure when participating in any intense physical training or equestrian events. Although some horses may remain clinically unremarkable, such physical exertion can result in various inflammatory disorders with subsequent increased risk of injury. Analysis of total protein in joint synovial fluid using the Randox Rx series of clinical chemistry analysers plays an important role in the study of equine orthopaedics worldwide and in the identification of appropriate therapeutic tools to enhance healing. The measurement of other well established biomarkers e.g. Total Antioxidant Status, Superoxide Dismutase, Serum Amyloid A and Creatine Kinase in monitoring response to exercise, transport, trauma and stress have all been previously reported using Randox technology and the results well documented in the scientific literature.

“In addition, using our clinical chemistry analysers, the measurement of seminal plasma antioxidant activity has been demonstrated as a useful indicator of semen quality and subsequent reproductive capability in performance stallions. In a study carried out by Härtlová et al., (2013) stallions experiencing induced sport workload stress were found to have higher levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) compared to those without workload stress. A correlation between an increased level of these intracellular enzymes in seminal plasma and defects in the spermatozoa membrane has previously been established (Katila, 2001).

“Randox is also actively involved in the development of tests for the detection of performance enhancing substances in horses. Such testing protects the safety and welfare of these animals and ensures that competitions are won primarily on merit. This testing is performed not only using our innovative Biochip Array Technology but also our Rx series of clinically chemistry analysers. During prolonged strenuous exercise, racehorses can experience acidemia. In an effort to enhance racing performance “bicarbonate loading” by trainers was first identified in the early 1990s and since then some racing authorities have identified a limit of total carbon dioxide (TC02) concentration which is permissible in horses prior to competition. A comparative study carried out in Australia which examined the capability of four clinical chemistry analysers (Beckman Synchron EL-ISE®, Beckman Synchron CX®5, Beckman UniCel DxC®600, Randox DaytonaTM) to measure TC02 in equine plasma reported that the Randox Daytona offered a high degree of accuracy and precision when compared to the gold standard. Of important logistical consideration however, this study identified the Randox Daytona as the only instrument sufficiently “portable” to allow TC02 testing to be carried out not only in a laboratory but also “onsite” at a racetrack in a laboratory vehicle (Jarrett et al., 2010).

“So as you can see – for all your equine needs from general health screening, monitoring response to exercise or injury, identifying suitable therapeutics and their appropriate threshold, studying the pathogenesis and pathomechanisms of certain equine diseases and assessing reproductive fitness – the Randox Rx series offers it all.”

For more information about our work in the area of Equine Health, please contact randoxpr@randox.com

 

References

Bolfă, PF., et al. (2012) Oxidant-antioxidant imbalance in horses infected with equine infectious anaemia virus . Vet J 2012, 192: 449-454

Deaton, CM., et al (2006) Comparison of the antioxidant status in tracheal and bronchoalveolar epithelial lining fluids in recurrent airway obstruction. Equine Vet J 2006, 38: 417-422

Delguste, C et al., (2007) Change in blood antioxidant status of horses moved from a stable following diagnosis of equine motor neuron disease . Can Vet J  2007, 48: 1165-1167

Dimock, AN., et al (2000) Evidence supporting an increased presence of reactive oxygen species in the diseased equine joint. Equine Vet J 2000, 32: 439-443

Härtlová, H., et al. (2013) Semen quality, lipid peroxidation, and seminal plasma antioxidant status in horses with different intensities of physical exercise. Acta Vet Brno 2013, 82: 031–035

Jarrett, M (2010): Alternative instrumentation for the analysis of total carbon dioxide (TC02) in equine plasma. Anal Bioanal Chem 2010, 397: 717-722

Katila, T (2001): In vitro evaluation of frozen-thawed stallion semen: A review. Acta Vet Scand 2001, 42: 199-217

Krumrych, W., et al. (2013) Oxidant/antioxidant status assessment of blood in selected equine diseases. Bull Vet Inst Pulawy 2013, 57: 225-230

Mills PC and Higgins AJ (1997) Oxidant injury, nitric oxide and pulmonary vascular function: implications for the exercising horse. Vet J 1997, 153: 125-148


We Are Randox | Randox Placement Student Meghan Semple receives Ulster Business School Excellence in Placement Award

At Randox we take pride in the high calibre of placement students we have as part of our team.

Not only do our students develop their business knowledge and acumen while they work here, they also grow personally during their year with us.  

The acquisition of skills including time management, problem-solving and professional conduct goes hand-in-hand with the development of confidence, self-esteem and assertiveness.

And just as our students benefit from their times spent with us, so too do we as a modern and innovative healthcare company benefit from the fresh perspectives and forward-thinking ideas our students bring to Randox.

These students make real and valued contributions to our global organisation, and no one seems to demonstrate this better than our Business Placement Student of the Year 2015-2016, Meghan Semple.

Meghan joined Team Randox in September 2015 as a Marketing Placement Student from Ulster University Business School.

Fast forward just over a year, and Meghan has received a Highly Commended Marketing Award from The Ulster University Business School, at the Excellence in Placement Awards, as recognition of the contributions she has made to Randox!

Speaking at the Excellence in Placement Awards, she explained why.

“When I joined Randox last year I was appointed a Marketing role in the RX Series, which are Randox’s range of clinical chemistry analysers.  

“For the first few weeks in my new role I spent time getting to know the brand, and making sure to gain an in-depth understanding of its key communication channels and messages. 

“The RX Series was already present online in the form of a website, social media platforms, and through various mail campaigns. However, I identified the company’s potential for higher engagement and better recognition as a leading technology brand, by conducting some competitor analysis and thoroughly researching our own perception amongst our target audience.

“This resulted in an opportunity to present a content marketing strategy to Marketing Management. This included strict guidelines to ensure consistency through all graphics, language used and tone of voice.  I also managed the implementation of this content marketing strategy via mail-campaigns, social platforms, web pages, insightful clinical market articles and whitepapers.

“In November 2015 my strategy was implemented, increasing online engagement by a staggering 1,200%.  We also increased our web traffic by 256.91%.  By quarter 3 of 2016, 100% of RX sales to distributors and end-users came from my Digital Marketing campaign.

“My work within the RX Series holistically changed the face of the brand, and for my efforts I was awarded the Pinnacle Business Placement Student of the Year award from Randox.”

Eamon Lenehan, Global Marketing Manager from Randox, commented;

“The effect Meghan had on the RX Series business is extremely impressive given the short time she was with us.  Her input in to our online presence cannot be underestimated and her dedication to increasing our band awareness has had a considerable impact on the Randox brand. 

Our digital presence has never been stronger, and that is thanks to Meghan.  Her creation of creative and original content as well as her collaboration across all channels has truly injected a new lease of life in to the RX Series and subsequently in to the Randox brand as a whole.”

 

We are extremely grateful to Meghan for all her hard work during her placement year at Randox and are equally proud of her achievements at the Ulster University Business School Excellence in Placement Awards.

The positive changes seen throughout the company are testament to the value of student placements and we are proud to be a key student employer within Northern Ireland. In fact, this year, we had our largest ever intake on our placement and graduate programmes, with 71 new team members having started work with us in September.

And it’s easy to see why so many students and graduates choose to come to Randox.

Meghan continued;

“There is only so much you can learn within the walls of your university classroom.  What’s most important is putting that knowledge and learning in to practice in a work environment.  When I started Randox I had 2 years of university studies under my belt, but I still hadn’t decided what area of marketing I wanted to go into.

“From working in Randox I have found my passion.  The team there were so supportive – their trust and encouragement is what enabled me to get so involved in the company’s digital marketing activities.  

“With their guidance I was truly able to make a huge impact within the RX Series brand and I felt as much a part of the team as the full-time members of staff.  

“I would highly recommend taking a placement year with Randox.  There is no better way to learn how a global organisation operates than to work in one, and I am confident that my time there will help me secure a full-time job when I graduate. If I could do my year with Randox all over again, then I would!”

Congratulations Meghan, we’re delighted to have been able to join you at your awards ceremony yesterday!

 

For more information about the Excellence in Placement Awards, or about placement opportunities at Randox, please contact randoxpr@randox.com

Make sure to follow Randox on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date with the hashtag #WeAreRandox for more stories about the amazing team we have here!

Pictured at the Ulster University Business School Excellence in Placement Awards are;

(L-R) Randox Global Marketing Manager Eamon Lenehan, Randox Business Placement Student of the Year Meghan Semple and Randox Human Resources Officer Jolene Jamison.


NHS cancer testing service at ‘tipping point’

A stark warning has been issued this week by Cancer Research UK (CRUK) that NHS cancer testing services are at tipping point, caused by increased demand and a lack of capacity.

Tackling this is essential, according to pathology expert Professor Manual Salto-Tellez, “We need to act now before this situation gets worse. It’s vital that patients are diagnosed at an early stage when treatment is more likely to be successful.”

CRUK says the UK’s cancer survival falls behind that of other European countries and is urging an improvement in early diagnosis through diagnostic services. The importance of this is emphasised by estimates from the charity that cancer diagnoses in the UK will rise from 352,000 (2013) to 500,000 (2035).

According to the report:

  • One in two people will develop cancer at some point in their lifetime
  • Well-resourced testing services are crucial to early diagnosis of cancer which in turn is vital to increase survival rates
  • Up to 70% of clinical decisions are based on diagnostic testing
  • Pathology numbers are not growing to meet rising demand for tests

Emma Greenwood, Cancer Research UK’s director of policy, said;

“Diagnostic services, including pathology, urgently need support and investment to ensure that diagnoses aren’t delayed and patients benefit from the latest treatment. The diagnostic bottleneck will only get worse without action now and this involves addressing staff shortages in imaging, endoscopy and pathology.”

A Department of Health spokesperson said, “Early and fast diagnosis is crucial in improving patient outcomes and experience. Getting pathology test results to patients quickly is a key part of this. That’s why we have invested over £2.5bn on efficient and robust pathology services across the NHS.”

Following the publication of the report Dr Martin Crockard, Head of Molecular R&D at Randox, said;

“As populations continue to age, illnesses like cancer, stroke, diabetes and cardiovascular disease will become more common. We know this is going to have a huge impact on healthcare systems but what is yet to be determined is how they will respond.

“Currently 70% of clinical decisions are using in-vitro diagnostics and that will likely increase – therefore it’s essential that pathology services are fully supported. Better diagnostics enables clinicians to make evidence-based decisions, which delivers improved patient outcomes.”

For more information regarding our preventive health philosophy please contact our PR team via email: randoxpr@randox.com


We Are Randox | Placement Student Ross Meikle chats Computers, Coding and Careers at Randox

Every year Randox offers university students exciting placements with an innovative and rapidly growing company.  

These placements are specifically designed to unlock the potential of high quality candidates and provide them with the opportunity to truly make a difference to our business and our customers, and with the opportunity to gain the needed experience to pursue a career in their chosen fields.

Ross Meikle took the time to tell us all about his placement year working within the I.T. department here at Randox.

If you’re interested in a placement year with us, read on! 

Hi Ross, what are you currently studying at University?

I am currently studying Computer Games Development at University of Ulster Magee.

Why did you choose to go down this career path/what attracted you to engineering?

During the first and second year of my degree I decided that Game Development wasn’t for me, and I had a much more keen interest in the Software Development modules that I had been taking. I have always been interested in computing and technology. To be in a position where I am using new technologies to design and develop software solutions appealed to me most.

How did you first hear about Randox?

I found the Randox placement through the University’s Placement searching tool, which then led to my application. After applying I contacted Randox to enquire further about the position and obtained an interview.

Why did you choose to carry out your placement year with Randox?

The description of the role given to me at my initial interview really appealed to me and the fact that I already had a little experience using some of the tools that the development use was encouraging. I was familiar with Visual Studio, and had completed one module using the programming language C# – which is the main language that the team here use. During the interview the Project Manager asked me a few technical questions and asked me to do a little coding which I felt very comfortable doing. He also talked to me about the language they use here at Randox and gave me a broad overview of what my responsibilities would entail.  After leaving my interview for the placement position, I felt very positive about the whole experience and felt like I wanted to be a part of the team.

 How have you found the experience so far?

My placement experience at Randox has been excellent. I completed my initial year of placement and then I was extended for an additional three months afterwards so that I could work right up until I went back to University. I am very happy that the company were prepared to continue my employment and allow me to develop my skills further. Since then I have also been brought back to do my final year project alongside Randox. I have made many friends during my time here, and I have learned significantly more during my placement than I have in any University year.

Have you been working in a supportive environment?

I have been working with the IT Software Development team during my placement. When I started the department was named Acusera 247. There isn’t a single person in this department that hasn’t helped me in some way or another, including the operations team. My team leader has always been able to provide the answer to any issue or question I have had along the way and provided those answers in an informative way that helped me to learn. My Project Manager has also supported me by providing me with all the opportunities I have had throughout my time here, including the final year project I am currently undertaking.

What do your main duties include? Have you been given much responsibility?

After the initial training phase and once I had become more settled within the team, I was made to feel like an equal and capable full time member of staff. I was working alongside other full time developers of varied experience, developing projects that were important and under tight time constraints. I was also tasked with completing a Security Project for the company’s IT department.  For this I had to create an Outlook Security Add in which the IT security officer Craig requested. The add in requires all company communication mediums to be given a security level which would ensure that only users with the required access level could read emails or access the files. I have been given a lot of responsibility throughout my placement and it has definitely made me a much more capable and confident person.

What do you enjoy doing the most?

I think the highlight for me during my placement was the Web Development that I did alongside the team in the last quarter of my placement. I was working on Acusera Verify alongside the other developers to a strict deadline. I was given a list of bugs which had been identified in the website and I had to identify the issue in the code and fix it. This process was very rewarding and it made me more confident knowing that my manager/team leader trusted me to be able to provide what was asked.

Have you been met with any challenges? How have you overcame them?

When I started my placement I felt that my coding ability was not what it should be, and I felt that I would struggle whenever the work became more complicated. What I found however was that being tasked with complicated work was the best way for me to learn. It encouraged me to learn fast and it encouraged me greatly to communicate with my team and improve my understanding. I was also challenged initially with the individual assignment I was given, the Security Application for IT. It was challenging, but through hard work and a supportive and extremely knowledgeable team behind me, it became more than achievable.

How has your placement experience with Randox compare to that of your friends who have also had a placement year in engineering?

The two friends that I lived with in my first and second years in University had very different paths than myself during their placement year. One of them was unable to achieve a placement and he ended up walking away from his degree. The other enrolled on the Erasmus program and did his placement in another University in Finland. Other people that I know have been placed with companies and have had both good and bad experiences. I feel very privileged to have had my placement with Randox and comparatively I seem to have gained a lot more from it than quite a number of others.

How has Randox worked with you to ensure that you are still able to work part time at Randox since finishing your placement?

My Project Manager has assisted me in contacting the right people within the company in order to propose the project and get it started. I wrote up a Project Initialization Document which detailed the design, drawbacks, benefits and costs of the project and it was reviewed by my superiors. I was recently sent a full offer pack and given all the information I required, along with a Staff identity/Clock Card to access the building. I have also been provided with a company computer and submitted a purchase order for the components I need for the project.

What you have learnt/skills you have developed from your placement?

Over the course of the placement, I have gained skills using C#, SQL, HTML, JavaScript and have gained a little bit of experience with JSON, Ajax and MVC.  Aside from technical skills, I gained a lot of personal skills, mainly improving my confidence and the ability to handle a lot of responsibility.

What have you been working on recently?

Since I returned as a part time employee, I have been working on the project I am using as my final year project, but I can’t give away too much detail on that yet.

Have you seen the Science Park? What was your first impression?

When I returned as a part time employee I was in the Randox Science Park and that is where I am located now. It is a significant change from where I was previously and I am both impressed by it and very comfortable here. The working environment that we have now feels much more professional. We have ready access to facilities we didn’t have before including dedicated storage areas, a build room for the connects and access to meeting rooms with interactive technologies – it really is a first class facility.  I am sure it has and will continue to improve the quality of the work produced here.

What was the highlight of your placement year with Randox? Do you have a favourite memory?

There have been a lot of great experiences throughout my placement year, but the memory that stands out most was my last day. The team set up a lunch for me and all said their goodbyes. My Project Manager then gave me a conditional Job offer which is what I had wanted most all along. It summarised the year for me and ended things on a very positive note.

We are delighted that Ross enjoyed his placement with Randox and we wish him the best of luck for his upcoming dissertation project! 

For more information on our student placement or graduate programme please contact Randox HR team or check out our website Randox Careers


Secretary of State Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP visits Randox Science Park

On Monday 21st November, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, visited our new Randox Science Park facility.

The visit was part of the Mr Brokenshire’s recently established Business Advisory Group sectoral meetings, of which the Life Science sector is a key stakeholder.

Following the visit, the Secretary of State said:

“I was absolutely delighted to visit the very impressive facilities at the Randox Science Park, in what used to be Massereene Barracks. During my tour of the site, I was struck by the powerful symbolism of what used to be the defence estate of the old Northern Ireland to what has now been transformed into world class laboratories and life sciences facilities. This showcases Northern Ireland as a leading contributor in the world of knowledge economy, and this is an area which I am confident will continue to grow.

“My visit here is to help re-affirm the Government’s commitment to do whatever is needed to safeguard the economy and forge a new global role for ourselves as we leave the European Union. The UK Government remains committed to making this country the best place in Europe to own and grow a business and to building a stronger economy that works for everyone.”

Dr Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of Randox, said:

“We were delighted to welcome the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP to our new Randox Science Park in Antrim, and we are encouraged by the Government’s support for the creation of a positive business environment. Since 1982 we have championed Northern Ireland and the very talented people who work with us. Our commitment to a positive future is perfectly illustrated by the evolution of this site from former army barracks to state-of-the-art biotechnology hub.

“As an innovation-led company, these revolutionary facilities are fundamental to enable us to develop more accurate and sensitive diagnostic capabilities and promote preventive healthcare globally. It will also contribute significantly to supporting the Northern Ireland economy with the creation of new jobs and increased exports. This is a significant investment, which markets not only a dynamic Randox to the world but also a positive Northern Ireland.”

For more information about the Secretary of State’s visit to the Randox Science Park please contact our PR team via email: randoxpr@randox.com


Randox celebrates Women in STEM at Armagh Planetarium Ask A Scientist Event

Have you always known that you wanted to be an Engineer?”

“Is there opportunity for career progression and promotion within Engineering?”

“So you do for the Randox machines what app developers do for smartphones?”

These were just some of the astute and intriguing questions posed by students of Dungannon Integrated College, Drumcree College Portadown, and St Ciaran’s Ballygawley, to our Randox Software Engineer, Ciara Shaw, at Armagh Planetarium’s Ask A Scientist Event on Friday 18th November.

The event took place as part of Science Week 2016, organised by the Science Foundation Ireland, and the day took the format of a Speed Networking session.  Students each spent 10 minutes chatting with a scientist, asking them all the questions they’ve ever wanted to know about careers in STEM, and then moved on to the next candidate!

This year the event had a particularly exciting twist – all the scientists involved were women!

Ciara was one of a group of nine women with a career in STEM – science, technology, engineering and maths – who took the time to meet with the students in attendance to chat to them about working in STEM.

As a hard-working and proud engineer, Ciara took the opportunity to inspire young women to take up STEM subjects for their GCSEs and A-Levels.

Currently, only 9% of the UK’s engineering and technology workforce is made up of women, a statistic which Ciara highlighted in her key note speech at the Ask A Scientist event.

Following the event, she commented;

“I’ve always been interested in IT and Engineering and so it surprises me that only 9% of the engineering and technology workforce in the UK is made up of women.  I wanted to showcase to the pupils at the Ask A Scientist Event today that working in STEM is an exciting and valid career choice for women as much as it is for men.  At Randox alone there are opportunities to work across a wide range of STEM disciplines – software developers and testers, IT support, engineers, research scientists, mathematicians working in finance and accounts…the list goes on.  I hope that through today’s event I was able to encourage some pupils to choose to study STEM subjects at school, so that they can aspire to these jobs in their future.”

Chatting to the pupils in their Q&A sessions, Ciara found the pupils had aspirations in abundance.

“One pupil told me they wanted to be an Orthopaedic Surgeon, and another said they were going to be an Architectural Engineer.  It was amazing getting the chance to listen to their hopes and plans for the future, and hopefully by answering their questions, helping them get on the path to achieving their goals.”

Joining Ciara at the event were representatives from the CSI Service of the PSNI; Siobhan Stevenson, Head of Collections Care at National Museums Northern Ireland; Kerry, Heather and Sam, Education Support Officers at the Armagh Planeatarium; and a number of PhD students currently carrying out their research at Armagh Observatory, including Eliceth Rojas-Montes, who gave a key note speech on her astronomy research.

Each scientist was able to provide the students with an insight into their line of work, and similarly share their experiences and knowledge with the other scientists!

Juie Shetye, PhD student at Armagh Observatory, said she was delighted to be able learn about different areas of science from the other scientists and engineers.

And Ciara agreed.

“Each area of science is so niche that our areas of work are worlds apart,” she commented.

“It’s been an extremely enjoyable day celebrating the work of Women in STEM and being positive role models for young women considering a job in the STEM industries.”

For more information about this event please contact our PR team via email: randoxpr@randox.com

For current STEM vacancies at Randox, please visit our Careers website.


We Are Randox | Randox Rugby Team take to the pitch for inaugural match against Randalstown

Our Randox Rugby team have been hard at work in training in advance of their first ever competitive match against Randalstown!

On Wednesday the team comprised of Cathal Kelly, Robin Walsh, Charlie Spon-Smith, David Craig, Johnny Acheson, Christopher Stevenson, Peter FitzGerald, Jack Hanna and Jason Webster, played their inaugural match against a Randalstown select team under the floodlights of Randox’s rugby pitch in Crumlin.

Heavy rain in the days leading up to game-night threatened to postpone the match but the rain held off and in mild conditions with little wind, it provided the perfect night for running rugby, and the match didn’t disappoint!

Months of hard work had prepared the young Randox team for the match against the more experienced Randalstown team.  With training and exercise drills weekly, the men from Randox had been put through their paces and were ready for some competitive rugby!

Jason Webster, Randox Health Sales Manager, who plays for our Randox Rugby Team, commented;

“The Randox men more than held their own in what was an open, end-to-end game. Right up until the last minute the win could have gone to either team – it was a nail-biting match!”

The Randalstown team showed their rugby skill and rugby know-how with excellent ball retention in the first half of the rugby mach. They earned hard yards with their big forwards punching holes around the tackle area, which resulted in an early lead, but the speed and individual ability of our Randox players produced some mouth-watering tries of their own!

The final score of the match was an unbelievably close 37-39 to Randalstown.

What an incredible score for our team’s first match against a rugby club team! Our Randox rugby players gave the Randalstown boys a good run for their money, and had great fun while doing so!

Jason continued;

“The camaraderie between all the men from both Randox and Randalstown was fantastic and it was great to see such great sportsmanship from both teams.  We hope to have another game against Randalstown in the coming weeks – bring your A-game Randalstown!”

Spectators at the match included Dr. Peter FitzGerald, Nuailin FitzGerald, supporting members of staff from Randox and a contingent of staff and players from Randalstown RFC.

Thank you to everyone who turned out to support our Randox Rugby team and of course to the Randalstown players for a great game!

 

For more information about our Randox Rugby Team contact Jason Webster via email: Jason.webster@randoxhealth.com

Make sure to follow Randox on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date with the hashtag #WeAreRandox for more stories about the amazing team we have here!


World Antibiotic Awareness Week at Randox

The global crisis of antimicrobial resistance is never far from the headlines. As part of World Amicrobial Awareness Week, we’ve been discussing the dangers and importantly the work being done to combat this growing threat.

There’s a very simple reason why we must all do what we can to tackle AMR. This year it’s thought 700,000 people died from drug resistant illnesses such as bacterial infections, malaria, HIV/Aids or tuberculosis. Experts warn that by 2050, this figure will rise to 10million.

Randox’s aim is to revolutionise global healthcare and we are committed to combating the threat of antibiotic resistance. We have a number of tests on the market that can help the fight against AMR, strengthen consumer confidence and ensure quality and safety for a number of different industries. So to round off this week, we spoke to two of our experts at Randox: Business Development Manager, Dr Mary Jo Kurth, and Molecular Diagnostics Manager, Dr Martin Crockard.

70% GP’s have been reported to prescribe antibiotics when they don’t know whether the infection is caused by the virus or bacteria.

At the frontline of the battle to curb AMR are the GPs but they’re not able to access the latest technology which can help them. Dr Mary Jo Kurth said, “In the current GP setting, diagnostic testing to determine whether a respiratory infection is bacterial or viral is unavailable, and therefore doctors often have to guess – or feel pressurised into prescribing antibiotics because patients demand it. However antibiotics only work to treat bacterial infections and are useless in treating infections that are caused by viruses.

 “The consequences are severe. Medical procedures like organ transplantation and cancer chemotherapy need antibiotics to prevent and treat the bacterial infections that can be caused by the treatment. Without effective antibiotics, even routine operations could become high risk procedures if serious infections can’t be treated. The hard won victories against infectious diseases of the last fifty years will be jeopardized.”

Our Biosciences division have developed a test that can rapidly detect and identify the cause of 22 respiratory infections, in both the upper and lower respiratory tract, and therefore subsequently determine if an antibiotic is required as well as then identify the most effective antibiotic to take. Additionally our Confidante kit – the world’s first over-the-counter home sexual health test – can detect ten of the most common STIs with one patient sample and deliver accurate and reliable results securely and discreetly within one week. This takes the guesswork out of antibiotic prescription and could go a long way in fighting the antibiotic resistance crisis.

Dr Martin Crockard said, “Identifying the specific cause of illnesses provides opportunities to tailor treatment, reducing antibiotic misuse. Not all infections respond to antibiotics, however a multiplex approach which identifies bacterial, viral or fungal pathogens encourages improved clinical decision-making, refining treatment, leading to enhanced patient care.

The molecular group here at Randox are developing a range of multiplex infection detection arrays to identify specific infection agents, allowing more appropriate use of antibiotics to improve patient care and reduce the onset of antibiotic resistance.”

In addition to tackling AMR via medical settings, there is work that can be done to deal with it in our food. Randox Food Diagnostics offer a comprehensive range of diagnostic solutions to allow for the detection and quantification of antibiotic residues within animal and food products. With validation across a range of matrices Randox Food allows producers to ensure their products are free from antibiotic residues.

As consumer awareness develops so does the need for antibiotic screening within agriculture and food production. Guaranteeing an antibiotic-free product strengthens consumer confidence and ensures food integrity on a global scale. Randox Food offers the Evidence Investigator matched with biochip array technology to provide the end user with fast, reliable results to ensure antibiotic free produce.

The UK Government recently commissioned a two year review into the crisis. Led by Lord Jim O’Neill, the final report outlined a new system of ‘market entry rewards’ worth $1.6 billion to the successful developer of a new antibiotic, which meets a prospectively-defined criteria of ‘unmet need’. Developers of alternative therapies aimed at tackling areas where there is unmet need due to rising AMR would also be eligible for these rewards. Such rewards would be paid after a successful product comes to market.

Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies said, “Antimicrobial resistance poses a catastrophic threat. If we don’t act now, any one of us could go into hospital in 20 years for minor surgery and die because of an ordinary infection that can’t be treated by antibiotics. That’s why governments and organisations across the world, including the World Health Organization and G8, need to take this seriously.

“This is not just about government action. We need to encourage more innovation in the development of antibiotics – over the past two decades there has been a discovery void around antibiotics, meaning diseases have evolved faster than the drugs to treat them.”

AMR will not go away on its own. It requires complex and comprehensive action across many sectors.

If you are interested in finding out more information, please visit randox.com


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