A week dedicated to unsung heroes! – Medical Laboratory Professionals Week 2017

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A week dedicated to unsung heroes! – Medical Laboratory Professionals Week 2017

From April 23rd to April 29th we are celebrating Medical Laboratory Professionals Week! This is a week dedicated to raising awareness for those who work in a laboratory & the hard work that goes unnoticed every day in laboratories around the world.

Have you ever wondered what happens between submitting your patient sample and receiving your results? Have you ever wondered who conducts the detailed laboratory testing for your annual check-up such as cholesterol and glucose levels? Or who analyses these results? The answer, a Medical Laboratory Professional (MLP). MLP’s provide up to 70% of the medical laboratory results for physicians and others to make informed decisions about a patient’s diagnosis and aftercare treatment plan. The work that laboratory professionals do each and every day is integral to providing excellent patient care.  They perform and interpret billions of laboratory tests every year.

Providing accurate and reliable test results is of the utmost importance for laboratory professionals and also for us at Randox. With a passion for Quality Control, and with more than 30 years’ experience developing Laboratory QC for the in vitro diagnostics market, we believe in producing high quality material designed to streamline procedures, whilst reducing costs in laboratories of all sizes and budgets. These qualities have been reflected in our Acusera true third party quality controls, Acusera 24.7 interlaboratory data management software, Acusera Verify Calibration Verification material and RIQAS, the largest international EQA scheme.

Randox Quality Control would like to take this opportunity to thank all the laboratory professionals around the world and especially our own laboratory staff – you truly are the “Unsung Heroes of Healthcare”.


We Are Randox | The Marvellous Monoclonals and The Incredible Immunoglobulins go head-to-head in the Belfast City Marathon in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society

Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Liverpool and Everton.

Sport has produced some of history’s greatest rivalries.

But none of them will compare to Monday 1st May 2017 when Randox rivals The Marvellous Monoclonals, and The Incredible Immunoglobins go head-to-head during the much-anticipated, 42km-long Belfast City Marathon, to raise funds for The Alzheimer’s Society.

We chatted to the two team captains ahead of the big race to hear what they think about their chances of victory.

Suzanne Smillie, Team Captain, The Incredible Immunoglobins

What made you decide to pull together a team to run The Belfast Marathon?

Suzanne: We all work in the Biotechnology department but across three separate teams – Monoclonal Development, Monoclonal Production and the Polyclonal team.  So although we all work in the same division of the company we don’t all necessarily know each other. So I thought teaming up to do the Belfast Marathon together would be good way to get to know each other, to put some faces to names and to do a bit of team building.

Who’s in your team?

Suzanne: In my team I have myself, Fintan Geoghegan, Ciaran Orchin, Ashleigh McKinstry and Rebecca Molloy.

How did you decide which leg of the race each runner is going to do?

Suzanne: It was a bit of a negotiation really, just trying to figure out who wanted to do what!  I have actually run in the Belfast Marathon relay event before so I was happy to let those who hadn’t done it before pick first.

What training have you been doing in preparation for the race?

Suzanne: We each started at different stages and have each had a different experience during our training. Rebecca in my team had never run before at all but has really taken an interest in the past month.  I think she has a pretty addictive personality – she told me that she is now running 3 times a week with her boyfriend!  She must be enjoying it because she told me that she thinks she’s going to keep it up even after we complete the marathon.

Do any of you have any previous running or marathon experience?

Suzanne: Some of the boys do a bit of running in their spare time, and Ciaran is really sporty.  He plays GAA and is definitely the most athletic out of all of us. Chloe on Katie’s team also plays a lot of hockey.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge you will be faced with on Monday?

Suzanne: There’s rain and potential snow forecast for Monday! Rebecca says she’d rather have a bit of refreshing rain than too much heat but I’m just worried about having the wind beating against my face!  From running the marathon before I know that it’s really difficult to run against the wind.

Who is your team’s fastest runner?

Suzanne: Ciaran will be the fastest!

Who is the most competitive runner?

Suzanne: Without a doubt Fintan is the most competitive runner.  He’s running against Michael in the other team and they are good friends, working in the same lab, so they’ll be quite competitive running directly against each other.

Ashleigh and Mark will also be quite competitive when they run against each other in the last leg, the glory leg.  On Facebook Ashleigh wrote “Eat my dust!” to him!

Has there been anyone not pulling their weight and needs to up their training over the weekend?

Suzanne: I’m going to up my fundraising game over the weekend by hosting a fundraiser on Sunday night with my choir!

What makes you think you’re going to win?

Suzanne: We’re a shorter team so we’re more aerodynamic.

Have you been keeping track of the other team’s training regimes and progress?

Suzanne: Rebecca has been nominated as my official team spy and I have sent her out in her car to follow the other team when they’re running.

I myself have a very particular set of skills. I’m a champion Facebook creeper and have been following the other team’s updates and statuses to make sure they aren’t sneaking in a cheeky set of press-ups in the tearoom on their lunch breaks.

Any hiccups along the way?

Suzanne: Ciaran had a hamstring injury and Maeve got a clicky hip but thankfully nobody has suffered anything too serious!

What are you most looking forward to about the race?

Suzanne: Having done the marathon before I know that being there is just the most incredible experience.  The feeling of being part of something bigger than you is a wonderful feeling and it’s truly special to be one of the thousands of people who come together to do something for other people less fortunate than us.

Regardless of the weather we’ll know that we’re doing something for the benefit of others and that’s a great feeling.

Anyone you think might be a sore loser?

Suzanne: Fintan! We’re all in agreement on that one.  Possibly Ashleigh as well if Mark beats her during the last leg.

Any forfeits for the losing team?

Suzanne: Rebecca had a good idea that we could get the other team to calibrate our pipettes for a month if we win. Or that they have to take out our clinical waste for us.

But eventually we landed on them making us our lunch every day for a month.

Katie Lawther, Team Captain, The Marvellous Monoclonals

How did you pick who was going to be in your team?

Katie: It was a totally random draw! We put names in a hat and just made sure that the teams were equally weighted with two men and three women in each.

Who’s in your team?

Katie: There’s Maeve McAllister, Michael Thompson, Chloe Carlin, Mark Spence and myself.

How did you decide which leg of the race each runner is going to do?

Katie: Some people knew which leg they wanted to run and others didn’t mind.  In my team specifically, Maeve had taken part in the relay before and had run the first leg, so she wanted to do it again because she had enjoyed it the last time.  She enjoys being at the starting line!

How did you decide which charity to run for?

Katie: I asked everyone if they had any particular charities they were passionate about, because I’m very passionate about The Alzheimer’s Society myself.  My Granny, who helped to raise me alongside my mum, was diagnosed with it when I was younger and so I ended up helping to care for her with my mum and sister.

When I told people that I’d like us to run in aid of The Alzheimer’s Society it turned out that other people had personal experiences with it too.  Maeve’s friend’s father passed away from Alzheimer’s when was he quite young and so she likes to fundraise for it when she can.

I think everyone has been affected by it in some form or another so we were all in agreement that it was the charity to go for.

We’re also actively involved in research and development into Alzheimer’s disease here in the Randox Biotechnology team so it just felt like the perfect fit.

What training have you been doing in preparation for the race?

Katie: We’ve each trained according to our own needs and schedules.  Michael in my team has been training for months because he wouldn’t be a natural runner yet he has one of the longest legs of the race.  Personally I’ve been swimming a couple of times a week to improve my fitness.

Do you think your teamwork in the lab will help you work as a team during the marathon?

Katie: Maeve and I are best friends in work so I’m really going to enjoy the moment Maeve passes the baton over to me.  When I see her coming I’m going to be cheering her on!

Do any of you have any previous running or marathon experience?

Katie: Ciaran is the sportiest out of all of us but unfortunately he’s on the other team! I imagine he will be Suzanne’s secret weapon…

Who is your team’s fastest runner?

Katie: Definitely Maeve! She’s going to do it for the girls.

Who is the most competitive runner?

Katie: In my team Mark is pretty competitive, and certainly has been with regards to fundraising. He’s on Facebook every single night promoting our team and bringing in the donations. He wants to have raised the most money!

Has there been anyone not pulling their weight and therefore needs to up their training over the weekend?

Katie: Maeve and I are going to have one final push on our training over the weekend.  Between the two of us we make up the Organising Committee for the teams and so we’ve spent quite a lot of time fussing and arranging rather than training!

What makes you think you’re going to win?

Katie: Suzanne seems to think our team is taller than hers and we are therefore less aerodynamic. Personally it’s the first time I’ve ever been called tall so I’ll take it!

Our long giraffe-like limbs will help us win.

Any sabotage going on?

Katie: Ciaran brought in a 5KG bag of M&Ms a few days ago and strategically left them on the desk I share with Maeve. He’s been trying to fatten us up!

Maeve naively thought that he was trying to give us a nice energy boost but I saw the sabotage for what it really was.

What are you most looking forward to about the race?

Katie: I know I speak on behalf of everyone in my team when I say that we’re all looking forward to meeting up at the finishing line, watching Mark and Ashleigh finish the final leg, cheering them on and finishing the marathon together as a team.

I’m also looking forward to seeing our fundraising total after all the hard work we’ve done.  We’ll do an official handover to the Alzheimer’s Society with the help of the Randox Internal Communications team.

It will be such a special moment handing over our well-earned funds to such a worthwhile cause.

Any forfeits for the losing team?

Katie: We want to do a lab swap like when Monica and Rachel swap apartments with Joey and Chandler!

Any celebration plans for when the race is over?

Katie: We’re all going to go to Cutter’s Wharf for a celebratory meal together. We’re all very much looking forward to it.

Our two marathon teams will join 17,500 runners taking part in the race on Bank Holiday Monday and will together be raising funds for the very worthy Alzheimer’s society, the only UK charity investing in research into dementia care, cause, cure and prevention.

In 2015/16, for every £1 received by The Alzheimer’s Society, 89p was directly spent on improving the lives of people with dementia. The other 11p goes towards generating future income.

We’re very proud that our marathon runners are taking on this incredible challenge in the name of such an amazing charity and wish them all the very best.

It doesn’t matter who finishes first in the race, you are all winners in our eyes! Good luck!

To donate to our Marathon Teams’ fundraising efforts please click the link below to visit their Just Giving Fundraising page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/TheMarvellousMonoclonalsandTheIncredibleImmunoglobulins

For more information about fundraising at Randox please contact randoxpr@randox.com

Our Marathon Runners left to right are: Fintan Geoghegan, Katie Lawther, Maeve McAllister, Ciaran Orchin, Chloe Carlin, Suzanne Smillie, Michael Thompson, Ashleigh McKinstry, Mark Spence and Rebecca Molloy

Celebrating the Randox Reagents R&D Team this Medical Laboratory Professionals Week!

Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (MLPW) is a week dedicated to increasing public understanding and appreciation for the clinical laboratory profession. During this week, we are taking the opportunity to celebrate the hard work of our Research and Development team. Allow us to provide you an insight into the life changing work of our scientists in the laboratories.

At Randox, our scientists work tirelessly to develop revolutionary diagnostic tests that are used in hospital and research laboratories across the globe.

We spoke to one of our biochemistry R&D Scientists to gain an insight into what working in a clinical chemistry laboratory entails. Emmett Donnelly, Clinical Chemistry R&D Scientist, is involved in the development of new reagents and the improvement of existing reagents. Emmett commented, “[My] role also involves the transfer and testing of existing chemistries onto new analyser platforms. Troubleshooting and resolving customer queries also forms part of a clinical analyst’s role”.  Emmett’s work is vital to ensure that patient tests are performing correctly, and to develop ground-breaking new technologies leading to better patient outcomes. To find out more about the work Emmett does, watch this video below.

Our scientists are committed to research and development and thrive knowing that their novel research is putting them at the forefront of clinical diagnostics.

In fact, prior to beginning work at Randox, Scott Paulin, Clinical Chemistry R&D team, took part in a three month expedition to Antarctica to intensely study human response-based research in athletes. A number of papers have been published in peer reviewed journals as a result of Scott’s research, as the findings have provided a useful insight into the physiological stress and responses associated with an Antarctic ultra-endurance race and nutritional counterstrategies to help maintain immune responses, function body weight and reduce stress markers. Read the full article here.

At Randox, our scientists are of the highest calibre, with vast experience and expertise which ensures we are producing the highest quality range of clinical diagnostic tests.

Excitingly as a result, American astronauts have enlisted our help to test their antioxidant levels before they go to space! This is essential as it ensures astronauts can survive long periods of time away from earth. To find out more about how important our Total Antioxidant Status (TAS) test is for astronauts, read our blog post here.

The invaluable work our scientists undertake in the laboratory is vital to ensure healthcare is advanced globally. Thanks to those in our Research and Development team, we are proud to be able to offer the widest range of clinical chemistry reagents and unique tests for medical diagnosis. Due to our scientist’s dedication to research, a continual focus is placed on developing tests that assess the risk of diseases, rather than diagnosing the illness after it has occurred. As a result, Randox are helping to change healthcare, as patients are provided the ability to take preventative action early. In the words of our R&D scientist Emmett Donnelly, “for me, my work supports the old saying prevention is better than cure”.

We hope you have enjoyed reading about our fantastic team of R&D Scientists! If you would like to find out more about the work of Randox Reagents, please get in contact by emailing: reagents@randox.com or click here to view our homepage.

laboratory


The RX series celebrate Medical Laboratory Professional Week

Medical Laboratory Professionals Week is taking place this year from 24th-30th April 2017. This is an annual celebration of professionals working in the laboratory, highlighting and recognising their contributions to medicine and healthcare.

To celebrate Medical Laboratory Professionals Week the RX series interviewed Emmett Donnelly, one of our R&D Scientists at Randox to find out more about what his job in the lab entails day-to-day. Emmett works with the RX series of clinical chemistry analysers and Randox reagents on a daily basis to develop or improve new tests for the market.

We asked Emmett a few questions about his life as a scientist. See what he gets up to in Randox on a daily basis …

What attracted you to a career in laboratory science?

I have always been interested in science and around the time of GCSEs I had a fantastic science teacher that made the subject interesting and easy, so from there I wanted to follow some kind of Science related career. When I learned about the role of Biology and Chemistry in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics I wanted to become more involved in that area.

What were you good at in school?

I was always interested in science so did well in these subjects. I also did well in maths and loved technology class. I took sciences to A’ level and liked languages so took French at A level too. I was never really that interested in history or arts so these were never my strong points come exam times.

What do you do in your job for Randox?

I am primarily involved in the Development and improvement of new reagents making sure that they work to a high standard on our automated analysers. I am also involved in troubleshooting product and customer queries, transfer work onto new analysers and some formulation of products.

Can you tell us an example of your daily routine as an R&D scientist?

I’m usually involved in a project so I work through all the data that needs to be generated for that. However product and customer queries may come through the lab and this would take priority. Other studies such as stress studies and stability may need done at the same time every week and is therefore scheduled. I am dealing with emails, calls throughout the day and more recently mentoring of graduate and placement students.

What is your favourite test to perform & why?

I like several tests. I like simple tests such as ALP, AST and Creatinine designed to monitor the health of our vital organs. I also like tests such as IGs designed to test for infection and Therapeutic Drug tests like Valproic acid and Theophylline used to monitor patient response to therapies.

What aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?

I generally like being involved in an area that improves people’s wellbeing. It’s nice to develop a new product and get it performing to a point that can be used in the market especially if it is something that has never been produced before.

What are some common preconceived ideas the public have about what laboratory staff do?

I think the public have little knowledge of what happens in a lab. They have an interest but tend not to question in detail what staff do because they perhaps think that the work is too complex for them to understand. I also think that the public isn’t aware that practically everything they use in daily life has been developed in a laboratory environment and fail to see the link between primary testing and the final product.

In your opinion, what are the most important aspects of laboratory work?

It is important that all work is carried out in accordance to Standard Operating Procedures to keep in line with Regulatory criteria. It is also important that the analyst knows their exact aims and have the right technical knowledge to achieve these aims. It is especially important to keep with deadlines as well if the Laboratory work is business based.

What are common errors of pipetting?

FinnPipettes require routine maintenance so it’s important that they are calibrated and maintained properly. When using them it’s important that liquid is removed and dispensed slowly to avoid air bubbles. Too fast and air will be introduced into the plastic tip resulting in inaccurate volumes. It’s also important that with viscous liquids not to forget to remove excess liquid from the tip. Users also sometimes place pipettes on the bench horizontally with the tip on resulting in material finding its way into the pipette. Slow adjustment of the volume control will prolong the life of the pipette. With normal pipetting it’s important to always read the liquid meniscus at the required reading.

What’s in your lab coat pocket?

I have a calculator, a couple of pens and a marker though I have a habit of losing mine so they probably belong to my work mates.

In what ways does your work make a difference to people’s lives?

For me my work supports the old saying Prevention is better than cure. The use of Diagnostic reagents help detect the development of disease at an early stage and therefore enable something to be done about it early. In addition, the reagents can be used to monitor treatment during illness as the results will tell if treatment is working.

Emmett is a fundamental member of the Randox team and plays an essential role in the diagnosis and prevention of disease through research and development of new tests. Without our valuable laboratory team working extremely hard behind the scenes the lifesaving work we do here at Randox would not be possible.

To find out more about Randox products contact us at theRXseries@randox.com.

Check out our social media sites for more on Medical Laboratory Professionals Week.

 


Randox representing businesses in Donegal at Irish American Business Chamber and Network Event in Philadelphia

Randox Teoranta is joining a trade mission of Irish firms visiting Philadelphia this week for the Irish American Business Chamber and Network Symposium, in partnership with Údarás na Gaeltachta.

Alongside Complete Lab Solutions and Eirecomposites Teo from Galway, Westire Technology Teo from Mayo, and the National University of Ireland Galway, Randox Teoranta is taking part in Údarás na Gaeltachta’s third visit to the Irish Chamber, to showcase the business and job opportunities available in the Irish-speaking Gaeltacht.

The event was launched last night with a welcome reception in the prestigious Pyramid Club of Philadelphia, with a number of presentations, seminars and networking opportunities taking place during today’s session at The Union League of Philadelphia.

Senior Manager of Randox Laboratories, Mark Campbell, who is attending the Symposium in Philadelphia, is looking forward to showcasing what Donegal has to offer, meeting potential business partners and finding new investment opportunities;

 It is a great honour and privilege to join Údarás na Gaeltachta on their Trade Mission and to represent businesses within Donegal at the Symposium.  Not only do we have key diagnostics capabilities of interest to the US, we also want to let the wider Irish diaspora know that there are world-leading career opportunities on offer in Donegal, including those in the life sciences, engineering and software development industries.  Our revolutionary diagnostics simultaneously allow us to partner with like-minded innovators in markets overseas, and to create further employment at home.”

 In 2015 Randox Teoranta in Donegal announced an investment of €25 million to extend and develop the R&D and manufacturing facilities of the state-of-the-art biotech facility.  The investment in the site will accelerate the development of new products into a wide range of clinical needs, including various cancers, stroke, heart disease and neurodegenerative disorders.

Mark continued;

Interest in Donegal as an exciting place to live and work has grown significantly in recent times.  In the past year alone Donegal Airport was voted one of the world’s most scenic airports, and the National Geographic Traveller named Donegal the coolest place on the planet. 

 “Our Randox site in Dungloe has much to offer the US and we are looking forward to sharing our innovative diagnostic technologies and our world-class careers with the members of the Irish American Business Chamber and Network.”

 Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh, Director of Enterprise, Employment and Property, Údarás na Gaeltachta, is heading up the delegation to Philadelphia, and commented;

 “Údarás na Gaeltachta are delighted to have the opportunity to showcase all of our Gaeltacht areas at the Irish American Business Chamber and Network Symposium.  Our Diaspora are an essential element in attracting business and employment home to Ireland and to our Gaeltacht areas, a lot of which are located in remote and peripheral areas. We are very proud to be able share a platform with and showcase a cross section of our excellent client companies such as Randox who reflect the business success that can be achieved in cooperation with Údarás na Gaeltachta.”

For more information about the American Business Chamber and Network Symposium please contact Randox PR on 028 9445 1016 or email RandoxPR@randox.com


Our commitment to Research and Development at Randox

With a major focus in R&D, Randox scientists work in pioneering research into a range of common illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Over 16% of turnover is reinvested in R&D, and therefore, we have more new tests in development than any other diagnostic company.

Of our 1400-strong workforce, almost 400 are research scientists and engineers. Over the past year alone these highly-skilled specialists have developed a new test for Alzheimer’s disease, a bladder cancer test and a test with the ability to stratify Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) patients, to determine patient response before chemotherapeutic treatment.

We were also the first company in the world to bring to market a test to detect ‘Flakka’, a dangerous and highly addictive new psychoactive substance.

Most recently we announced the official opening of our new research and testing laboratory, Randox Clinical Laboratory Services (RCLS), at the Randox Science Park in Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Research areas at the newly accredited laboratory include but are not exclusive to cancer, fertility, heart, inflammation, stroke and kidney health, both in-house and collaboratively with external organisations.

Current and past collaborations include an Acute Kidney Injury Study with the Royal Victoria Hospital, a Bladder Cancer Study in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast and The Belfast Trust, a Stroke and Brain Injury study with Cambridge University, and key partnerships with a number of major pharmaceutical companies.

Our R&D projects are known across the world for their ingenuity and relevance to current health issues.

Both our Bladder Cancer project and our Acute Myeloid Leukemia projects were awarded Innovate UK Research Awards, which enabled economic studies to be carried out by The National Institute for Health Research Diagnostic Evidence Co-Operative.  These DECs will investigate the economic benefits of the new diagnostic tests for The National Health Service, and their role in the current patient care pathway.

Our revolutionary Alzheimer’s disease test was presented with a NACB / AACC Distinguished Abstract Award at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry Annual Scientific Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo, in Philadelphia.

We have also recently established a collaborative agreement with Dr. Carl Novina at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. The goal of this collaboration is to develop therapeutic antibodies that will be incorporated into a platform technology that can reprogram patients’ immune systems to attack cancers.

Our research and development programme at Randox is continuously evolving to address the most pressing health issues.  We are committed to improving health worldwide and as such will continue to focus our R&D efforts where they are most needed.

Please see below for some examples of our latest research and development news stories.

New Randox blood test detects Alzheimer's disease in 3 hours
Randox Clinical Laboratory Services officially opens at Randox Science Park
Randox R&D Centres of Excellence with support from Invest NI
New Randox project committed to helping bladder cancer patients

We Are Randox | Elena Lazarova, Robogals Mentor

Placement student Elena Lazarova who works in Randox Molecular Biology R&D Firfields site explains more about Robogals, a student-run global organisation that aims to inspire more girls to join STEM careers.

Founded in 2008 Robogals has chapters in several continents including Europe, Australia, Africa, and North America. The organization has reached over 50,000 girls aged from 5 to 18 years old and by 2020 aims to inspire over 100,000 girls by running free-of charge engineering and technology workshops in local communities.

“I was first introduced to Robogals when I saw one of their Manchester representatives at the Fresher’s fair at the University of Manchester. The LEGO robot that they had on the stall intrigued me with its simple design and ability to recognise distance thus saying ‘Hello!’ each time someone walked pass it.

As I had studied programming in middle school, I was keen to volunteer and find out more about these robots and the organisation. It turned out that the program behind the robot was mostly visual and not the coding I was used to therefore it was ideal as an introduction to programming. You’d think that a Biotechnology student would be out of place teaching robotics, but on the contrary it is incredibly fun and a good mental exercise. Also coming from a country where more than 30% of engineers are women (Bulgaria), I was surprised at the gender gap in the UK (less than 10% of engineers were women) and am keen to address the issue.

Since being taught how to use the robots I made sure to go to every session the Manchester chapter had, be it at local museums (each year we went to the Museum of Science and Industry’s Science Fair), libraries or schools. My enthusiasm and skill-set led to me being elected President of the Manchester chapter for a year and netted me over a 100 hours of volunteering.

Knowing I would have a placement year, and keen to continue being part of Robogals, I joined the regional Robogals EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) team as a Mentor. My current task is to assist and advice the chapters in the region on topics from volunteer involvement to sponsorship securement.

The last workshop I volunteered at was the Deer Shed Festival in Thirsk, Yorkshire during July 2016. It is a three day family-orientated festival which includes a Science Tent where Robogals Manchester has had a place for four years. It was my second time going to it and we taught over 150 girls and boys how to use our robots which include a LEGO guitar I had built the previous year.

Finishing the Lego guitar project is one of my favourite memories. Contrary to how long people think it took me to build it – it was only four hours. Since then it has become a great attraction and a good way of illustrating how one of the robot sensors works – the ultrasonic/distance sensor. I remember thinking at the festival how many people had brought their daughters to us to ask for advice about engineering pathways. There were also a good number of children who had attended our activity the previous year and wanted to partake again which was great to see as Robogals mission is to inspire, engage and empower young women into engineering and related fields.

Most of my activities so far as a Mentor have been online via email or voice chats. But last month I met various chapter executives in the EMEA region (mainly those in the UK) for our annual SINE (Seminars Inducting New Executives) conference. This year it was held in London and hosted by the London chapter at Imperial College London from 10th until 12th February. There I facilitated the activities and did presentations on skills to have and develop as part of Robogals.

These include learning how to program the robots using the LEGO Mindstorms NXT program and developing soft skills such as team work and presenting as well as teaching. During my time on the committee I was able to learn to liaise, organize workshops, event management, and leadership skills. Now as a Mentor I can share my experiences with other members of the organization whilst further developing what I have already learned in my time with Robogals (2.5 years so far).

Currently I am working on next year’s annual conference for the organisation. When I go back for my final year at the University of Manchester, I will definitely be going to workshops planned by the chapter there. Each time I’ve been to a workshop, I’ve always enjoyed how amazed the children are at the robots. Surprisingly, I’ve always thought I wouldn’t be good with children but I am enjoying being able to inspire them and to teach them more about the STEM world.

If you are interested in joining our global team make sure that you check out Randox careers website to see what new opportunities we have for you.

 #WeAreRandox


Randox Health Grand National debut “could not have been better!” says Dr. Peter FitzGerald

The sponsor of the Randox Health Grand National has congratulated all involved in this year’s event, saying it has been a fantastic success.

Dr Peter FitzGerald also paid tribute to the company’s partners The Jockey Club and the new broadcasters ITV.

“We couldn’t have wished for a better first year for the Randox Health Grand National, from the incredible weather, the warmth and energy of the crowds, to the fact that for a fifth year all runners came home safely.

“Yet again this race delivered a magical story for the winning jockey Derek Fox who broke his wrist a month ago and fought against the odds to come back. It was a very special moment handing over the trophy to One for Arthur’s owners Belinda and Deborah – the emotion they felt was clear to all. I am delighted for the trainer Lucinda Russell and her assistant Peter Scudamore who deserve every credit for this fantastic victory.

“This was our first Randox Health Grand National, and we have at least four more to look forward to.

“Throughout history there are periods of enlightenment, and I believe this is one. People now understand they can take a proactive, preventive approach to their health. Only Randox Health offers the only diagnostic technology to enable people take control of their futures. We are moving beyond traditional models of delivery and have launched mobile clinics so people can access our services wherever they are, whenever they want.

“It has been a wonderful experience working with ITV, as it has been their first Randox Health Grand National as well. The build-up to the People’s Race was insightful and engaging, with terrific presenters led by Ed Chamberlin and Oli Bell, and helped of course by our ambassador Sir Anthony McCoy. That it increased audience share is a marker of the success of the team.

“The Jockey Club has also been a superb partner, and they worked tirelessly to deliver a first-rate festival which was enjoyed by millions on TV and tens of thousands on the course.

“I would also like to thank the public who attended and gave their support to the event. We look forward to the next few years delivering the most iconic horse-race and sharing our message with the world.”

For more information about Randox Health please contact Nicola McHugh or Amy McIlwaine in the Randox PR team by emailing randoxpr@randox.com or phone 028 9442 2413

View a selection of photographs from the Randox Health Grand National festival in the Image Gallery below.

View a selection of photographs from Randox Health Week, in partnership with Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Liverpool, in the Image Gallery below.


Cutting-edge research and testing centre opens at Randox Science Park

Following the success of the first ever Randox Health Grand National, global health diagnostics company Randox has today announced the official opening of its new central laboratory, Randox Clinical Laboratory Services (RCLS), at the recently acquired Randox Science Park in Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Situated at this new state of the art biohub, the RCLS accredited lab now houses Randox’s latest blood screening equipment – the pioneering Evolution machine.  This new technology enables the labs to conduct a full range of niche and standard research testing, as well as current health testing for the company’s Randox Health division, which offers the world’s most comprehensive full body health analysis.

Research areas at the newly accredited laboratory include but are not exclusive to cancer, fertility, heart, inflammation, stroke and kidney health, both in-house and collaboratively with external organisations.  Current and past collaborations include an Acute Kidney Injury Study with the Royal Victoria Hospital, a Bladder Cancer Study in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast and The Belfast Trust, a Stroke and Brain Injury study with Cambridge University, and key partnerships with a number of major pharmaceutical companies.

A staggering 222 clinical diagnostic tests are currently run routinely with the lab, with more tests pending accreditation in the coming months.

Ann-Marie Jennings, Laboratory Manager for Randox Clinical Laboratory Services, explained that the new facilities will allow RCLS to increase their output and enter new markets;

“Randox Clinical Laboratory Services has been operational for a number of years in our headquarters in Crumlin, near the Belfast International Airport.  Now that we have moved to our new, purpose-built labs in the Randox Science Park, we have the ability to increase the output of both our health testing and our research testing. This involves expanding our team of experienced scientists, working towards further accreditations and furthermore setting up independent labs in Dubai, LA, Holywood and Liverpool in addition to our current labs in Antrim and London.”

Thanks to the new Randox Science Park facilities, the company will now be able to provide an increasingly wide range of testing services to Biotechnology and In Vitro Diagnostic companies, and will deliver to pharmaceutical companies the testing services required to support their drug development projects, in addition to the testing provided to research organisations,

With the ability to conduct an unrivalled range of health testing – haematology, biochemistry and immunoassay – all under one roof, the laboratory offers unparalleled support services to the dynamic and growing healthcare industry.  With a greater understanding of human complexity, pharmaceutical companies are now focusing on developing safer drugs tailored to specific patient groups or sub-groups and the expansion plans in motion at RCLS will help these organisations bring new drugs to market faster.

Ann-Marie continued;

“On our patented Randox Biochip Array Technology we can customize bespoke testing platforms based on the requirements of each drug development project, which can be a challenging process. From initial product development to clinical trial stages there can be a number of barriers and time constraints before drugs are successfully released to the public.  We’re confident that our newly enhanced capabilities will benefit patients suffering from conditions in most need of research by offering pharmaceutical companies at the forefront of pioneering research, with the latest technological developments.”

For more information about RCLS please contact Randox PR on 028 9442 2413 or email RandoxPR@randox.com


The 50th anniversary of ‘Foinavon,’ the most unexpected Grand National winner

There are many anniversaries to be celebrated during the 2017 Randox Health Grand National, and one of them will be of the most unexpected victory in 1967. A horse no-one ever thought could win did just that 50 years ago. Foinavon and his jockey -John Buckingham – entered the history books.

This year, John’s widow and 70 of their closest friends and family will be coming to Aintree to mark the anniversary.

It’s being marked in a special BBC Merseyside tribute by the well-known racing correspondent Mike Hughes, who was the last person to interview John. 

 

This Saturday’s Randox Health Grand National marks fifty years to the very day of the most extraordinary race in Aintree history.

Foinavon was the 100/1 winner in 1967 but the huge price about the winner was only part of the story.

Given the challenging nature of the course of the world’s most famous race, there’d been the usually array of fallers on the first circuit. Becher’s Brook has a fearsome reputation as one of the most difficult fences in National Hunt racing, but all the horses left standing on the second circuit managed to jump it.

Next up was the 23rd fence, the smallest on the course, nobody could have foreseen what was to happen.

A loose horse, Popham Down refused and turned away from the fence – preventing almost every other horse from clearing the fence. Except one. Foinavon was thirty lengths off the pace, and under the expertise of jockey John Buckingham , managed to pick a way through and jumped Becher’s like a stag.

The favourite for the race Honey End remounted and was making up ground but Foinavon drew clear to win the race in emphatic fashion.

John Buckingham was the toast of the weighing room and his fellow jockeys praised him to the heavens. Incredibly John only got the ride on Foinavon on the Wednesday before the race after three jockeys had turned down the ride. The night before the race he slept on two armchairs in a nearby Guest House.

Foinavon’s victory was so unexpected that even the horse’s owner and trainer were elsewhere on the day.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the race, BBC Radio Merseyside have put together a documentary, called simply “Foinavon”

It will be broadcast this Wednesday night on Merseyside Sport 6-7pm.

The programme includes an interview with the hero of the day John Buckingham. I travelled down to Chipping Warden to speak to John in early December last year. He couldn’t have been more charming and informative. Sadly John died unexpectedly a couple of weeks later.

It was the last interview he ever did.

On Randox Health Grand National day this Saturday, John’s wife Anne and seventy of their friends and family are coming to Aintree to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the day that  John and Foimavon wrote their names in sporting history.

You can listen to “Foinavon” on Wednesday night on Merseyside Sport at 6.15 pm, or on www.bbc.co.uk/radiomerseyside or on the BBC iPlayer for Radio App.

For more information  please contact Randox PR on 028 9442 2413 or email RandoxPR@randox.com


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