We Are Randox | Randox Apprentice Grace Catney graduates with First Class Foundation Degree

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We Are Randox | Randox Apprentice Grace Catney graduates with First Class Foundation Degree

Did you know that in partnership with Southern Regional College, Randox offers an industrial apprenticeship scheme?

This month our first group of Randox apprentices completed this Foundation Degree in Applied Industrial Science, and we’re delighted to announce that Grace Catney, an apprenticeship from our Quality Control division, has graduated with a first class degree!

We sat down for a chat with Grace to find out how she has found the apprenticeship experience, and what she wants to let students know about what it’s like to do an apprenticeship with Randox.

 

This is what Grace had to say:

After completing one year of my A-levels I applied for a BTEC National Diploma in Applied Science, having realised that doing A-levels wasn’t the path I wanted to take.  For young students I think it’s so important to let them know that there is no one correct path to your dream job.  Going directly into university isn’t for everyone, and completing the National Diploma was the best decision I made for my own education, as I gathered the hands on experience in the laboratory that I wouldn’t have had if I was to finish my A levels. During my National Diploma which lasted 2 years, I worked in my family’s chip shop and in Starbucks, which was also so fundamental in teaching me how to balance work, education and leisure.  

Then when I gained a Triple Merit in my BTEC, my tutor from Southern Regional College made me aware of the apprenticeship with Randox, and so I went along to an interview which lasted around 20-30 minutes. Four people were chosen to take part in the apprenticeship programme, with three out of the four people having been on the BTEC course with me. The other apprenticeship came from a previous job and already had a masters degree.  The apprenticeship programme is open to people from all walks of life.

The apprenticeship itself is a 2 year programme made up of one day a week in the Southern Regional College in Portadown, and four days a week working in Randox. At college I studied a range of modules including Biochemistry, Genetics, Professional Practice, Laboratory Procedures, Physiology, Cell Biology, Chemistry and Mathematical Statistics, and at Randox I completed 3 rotations working within Production, Biochip Quality Control and R&D Quality Control.

Carrying out the apprenticeship has helped me improve so much in many areas. Working and completing the Foundation Degree is very intense, as you are simultaneously studying for exams and learning new work skills within your department. But the benefit is that you can apply what you are being taught to your work as soon as you learn it, which makes understanding the concepts so much easier.

The most enjoyable part of the apprenticeship was the rotation through different departments.   This helped me to learn a lot about the work that goes on – from the initial production of a Reagent, to Microbiology, Quality Control, Quality Assurance and then shipping to customers. Being in multiple departments has allowed me to see different stages along the production life of a product, while getting to know many incredibly talented employees throughout the company.

Working for such a globally successful company has given me the opportunity to see how science is changing the world, and to be a part of it, and it has also given me an advantage over full-time university students, because I already have 2 years’ experience in the science industry and a job secured. Education is important, but in the science industry experience is essential, and that’s what I am thankful to Randox for.

I have been treated as an employee, and not just a student.  The responsibilities with which my managers have entrusted me with have given me a real insight into the role of an analyst, and the different rotations helped me to determine what area of science I would prefer to work in.

When I came into Randox all I knew is that I wanted a hands-on, practical job that would help make a difference in the world of healthcare. When I completed my final rotation in R&D Quality Control, I knew that it was the department I could see myself in permanently, and so I was delighted when I was offered a full time job. 

Knowing that my work over the past few months in Quality Control has been to a level high enough to be offered a permanent job is a very good feeling. Many students come out of university with a degree but cannot find a job. I’ve done the opposite of that in some ways – I secured a job first before moving on to the next stage of my degree!  The only condition of the job was that we had to pass the foundation course, and so luckily I got a first overall.

I feel a mixture of nerves and excitement knowing that I’m going to be completing my final two years of a BioMed degree while working at Randox.  I think the distance learning will be an easier transition than maybe I had previously thought, given that during the apprenticeship we only had one day in class and had a lot of online classes throughout the week. I’ve never wanted to go to university as a full time student and so I’m am glad that this is available to me to complete while continuing my career with Randox. I have read a lot about the Biomedical Degree and the modules and am quite eager to begin the course. 

It’s also reassuring knowing that over the past 2 years I have significantly developed my ability to prioritise work, and to balance my job and studies. This will set me in good stead for my BioMed degree. Having a full time job and completing coursework and studying for exams is very hard and can be stressful – but the end result is worth it.

It can be challenging, but that’s what I love about science – there are so many new reactions, materials, procedures, regulations etc. to learn. There can be a big workload at times, but that’s always going to happen when you’re part of such a fast-paced company, and at Randox we’re very lucky that the support is always there if needs be. Luckily, I enjoy the rush and challenge of my job, and knowing your employer is trusting you to work on their world-class products is an amazing feeling.

Although the apprenticeship is challenging, if you have the right mind-set and motivation, you will gain so much from it. I highly recommend the Randox Higher Level Apprenticeship Foundation Degree in Applied Industrial Science.  

Grace

 

We wish Grace and her fellow Randox apprentices the best of luck on whatever path they have chosen to progress to the next stage of their careers.  

For more We Are Randox stories about our amazing colleagues, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and follow the hashtag #WeAreRandox.

For current vacancies in our team, visit careers.randox.com


Measuring T2DM Risk with Randox Automated Adiponectin

During the first week of our adiponectin educational month, we focused on different aspects of our free white paper “Early Risk Assessment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Through the use of the Biomarker Adiponectin”, which details the features and benefits of Randox automated Adiponectin, clinical significance and a comparison to traditional methods for diabetes risk assessment.

Randox Adiponectin is an automated biochemistry reagent, used as a biomarker which can powerfully predict the development of pathologies such as Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). With the global prevalence of diabetes continually rising in adults over 18 years of age, from 4.7% in 1980 to 8.5% in 2014, adiponectin should be an integral part of every laboratory’s testing panel. Offering an improved method for assessing risk, with a convenient format for routine clinical use, Randox Adiponectin will enable physicians to accurately evaluate more individuals.

Read on to find out more!

Monday 11th September

Traditional Methods for Diabetes Risk Assessment

Randox adiponectin offers a more improved, automated method for assessing Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) risk compared to traditional methods of diabetes risk assessment. Such methods include:

  • Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) – This is the most commonly used biochemical method of assessing T2DM, however, the specificity of this test is poor. Although many individuals are identified as having impaired fasting glucose (IFG), their absolute risk of conversion to diabetes is only 5-10% per year.
  • Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) – This method is more accurate for risk assessment than other traditional methods, however, it is rarely used in practice as it is takes two hours to perform and is uncomfortable for patients.

Non-biochemical methods for assessing a patient’s risk of developing T2DM take into consideration gender, age, family history of T2DM, BMI, waist size and high blood pressure to give a risk score. Two of the most popular, traditional indicators include:

  • Waist circumference – measures abdominal fat reliably, but its association with visceral fat varies by gender and ethnicity.
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) – is another common method, however it has limitations in measuring athletes and varies depending on age, sex and race.

Given the limitations of OGTT and FPG, an improved method for assessing T2DM risk, with a convenient format for routine clinical use, would enable physicians to accurately evaluate more individuals. Randox adiponectin is an automated biochemistry test utilising a latex enhanced immunoturbidimetric method which removes the inconvenience and time consumption associated with traditional methods of testing, making it a superior method of testing T2DM.

 

Tuesday 12th September

Clinical Significance

Recent studies have advocated the testing of adiponectin in clinical settings. It has applications in assessing risk in several diabetes-related conditions including prediabetes, T2DM and GDM. These studies include:

BMJ (2016): Adiponectin levels predict prediabetes risk: the Pathobiology of Prediabetes in A Biracial Cohort

This study found that among health white and black adults with parental history of T2DM, adiponectin level is a powerful risk marker of incident prediabetes. Thus, the association of adiponectin with diabetes risk is evident at a much earlier stage in pathogenesis, during transition from normoglycemia to prediabetes.

Diabetes Care (2013): Low Pre-pregnancy Adiponectin Concentrations Are Associated With a Marked Increase in Risk for Development of Gestational Diabetes mellitus

This was a study carried out on 4098 women who had children within 6 years of initial blood sample and none of whom were pre-diabetic or diabetic. It was found that lower adiponectin concentration measured on average 6 years before pregnancy were associated with a 5-fold increased risk of developing GDM.

 

Implications for Clinicians

Adiponectin measurement is not yet a routinely run test in many laboratories worldwide and it is therefore not available for many clinicians to request. Yet the implications of this becoming widely available could be extremely valuable as it can help to assess:

  • Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Incident prediabetes
  • Cardiovascular events
  • Gestational Diabetes

When risk is identified via adiponectin measurement, it is essential for individuals to carry out lifestyle modification to reduce visceral fat levels and lowering T2DM risk. This will also help to prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases and metabolic syndrome through the improvement of adiponectin production. This indicates that Randox automated adiponectin should be a routinely run test across the world.

13th September 2017

Methods of Measuring Adiponectin

Randox adiponectin automated method has many benefits for the laboratory, as the only method of adiponectin measurement available beforehand was through the ELISA assay. The benefits of switching from ELISA to an automated method include efficiencies and expansion.

Efficiencies

The main drawback of using ELISAs for clinical testing within a laboratory is that it is time consuming and personnel consuming as it uses heavy resources with manual interaction. Switching from ELISA to an automated method for the detection of adiponectin increases time and personnel efficiency considerably which leads to cost effectiveness. This benefits laboratories through:

  • Ensuring quality in testing practices and confidence in clinical results
  • Lowering the risk of error and contamination avoiding compromising clinical results

 

Expansion

Laboratories can expand their test offerings to patients and clinicians by transitioning analytes which were historically only available on ELISA methods. Adiponectin being available in an automated biochemistry format allows laboratories to expand their test menu with ease and enables the inclusion of adiponectin into routine testing panels. It also allows for detailed patient testing profiles through increased testing range and without the manual restrictions placed by running ELISA techniques.

Randox is presently the only diagnostic manufacturer who has a globally available automated biochemistry test for adiponectin measurement.

14th September 2017

Randox Automated Adiponectin Assay

The Randox adiponectin assay principle:

  • The sample is reacted with a buffer and anti-adiponectin coated latex
  • The formation of the antibody-antigen complex during the reaction results in an increase in turbidity – this is measured as the amount of light absorbed at 570nm.
  • A sample with higher adiponectin levels will contain more adiponectin and so more antibody-antigen complexes will be formed and the increase in turbidimetry
  • By constructing a standard curve from the absorbance of the standards, the adiponectin concentration of the sample can be determined.

Benefits of Randox adiponectin:

  • A niche product meaning we are one of the only manufacturers to provide the adiponectin test in an automated biochemistry format
  • Automated assay removing inconvenience and time consumption associated with traditional ELISA testing
  • Applications available for a wide range of automated biochemistry analysers ensuring ease of programming and confidence in results
  • Latex Enhanced Immunoturbidimetric method delivering high performance
  • Extensive measuring range for measurement of clinically important results
  • Complementary controls and calibrators available offering a complete testing package

The Randox automated immunoturbidimetric adiponectin test offers an improved method for assessing T2DM risk, with a convenient format for routine clinical use, to enable physicians to accurately evaluate at-risk individuals.

Please contact us at reagents@randox.com for more information!

Download our white paper from the resource hub.


Grand National sponsor Randox hosts polo event in Scotland

Returning to the home of 2017 Randox Health Grand National winner One For Arthur, the sponsor of the world’s greatest horse race is hosting an international polo tournament in the heart of Scotland this weekend.

Not only is Scotland known for some of the biggest names in horse racing but the country, which was this week voted by tourists as the most beautiful country in the world, also hosts an impressive polo scene – Randox has been hosting international polo tournaments there for over 15 years. This year the global healthcare company is hosting internationally renowned polo players from countries including Argentina and South Africa at Errol Park in Perthshire, where teams will play in front of hundreds of spectators.

In celebration of Scotland’s rich equestrian heritage and talent, guests of honour at this year’s Randox Polo will include the winning trainer from this year’s Randox Health Grand National, Lucinda Russell, and ‘Golf Widow’ Belinda McClung.

Randox Founder and Managing Director, Dr. Peter FitzGerald, who is himself taking part in the Randox Polo Tournament, commented;

“There are few sports that come close to the speed of the action and the thrill of the chase in a competitive polo match, but there is one that springs to mind.  Winning the Randox Health Grand National, the world’s most famous horse race, is achieved by only the very best in this field, and I am delighted that five months after I handed over the trophy, the winning trainer and owner, Lucinda Russell and Belinda McClung, are joining us in Perthshire at our international polo tournament.  It is through events like these that we are able to share our Randox Health message with the public, and by taking care of our health we are able to make the most of life’s special moments and occasions.”

Unveiled at this weekend’s Randox Polo tournament will be the health firm’s first Mobile Health Clinic, designed to meet the increasing demand for the healthcare service which has stemmed from the sponsorship of the Randox Health Grand National, and to make the world’s most advanced and personalised health check accessible to all.

Dr. FitzGerald continued;

“Our new mobile services marks a departure from traditional models of healthcare provision and is in line with our passion for innovation.  We’re delighted to be able to offer guests to our polo event our unique Randox Health technology, so that anyone who wants to take their health into their own hands, can do so.”

Please contact Randox PR for more information: Call 028 9442 2413 or email randoxpr@randox.com


Randox looks east to develop new business relationships

Representatives from global medical diagnostics firm Randox Laboratories have been reaching out to business partners in Russia this week, by accompanying world-renowned pianist Barry Douglas to his performance with the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia and its conductor Alexander Lazarev, at the Moscow Conservatory.

The healthcare company, which has headquarters in County Antrim, is the global sponsor of Barry Douglas and his Camerata Ireland orchestra. The partnership allows Randox to deliver on its commitment to showcase the wide variety of talent on the island of Ireland to a global audience – both through the arts and also through its own scientific expertise.

 Mark Campbell, Senior Manager at Randox Laboratories, commented;

“Accompanying the talented Barry Douglas to Russia allows Randox the opportunity to simultaneously support the promotion of our talented Irish musicians, while also strengthening key business relationships and promoting exports. 

“We are proud to promote Northern Ireland to Russia as not only a country of rich musical heritage, but also an innovative and technologically advanced country continually investing in R&D, with a highly skilled manufacturing workforce.  We have been exporting to the health sector in Russia for over 20 years and we look forward to nurturing these business relationships and developing new ones.”

Barry Douglas, Founder and Artistic Director of Camerata Ireland, and winner of the 1986 International Tchaikovksy Competition, a classical music competition held every four years in Moscow, said;

“It is such an honour to be able to take to the stage in Moscow with the exceptionally talented Alexander Lazarev and the State Academic Symphony Orchestra. It is particularly meaningful for me to be back in the city where I made my name, in 1986. It is thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, particularly our global sponsor Randox, that I and my fellow musicians are able to continue doing what we love.”

Barry Douglas performed with The State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia on Wednesday 6th September 2017 in The Great Hall of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory.

For further information about Randox in Russia please contact Randox PR on 028 9445 1016 or email RandoxPR@randox.com


Randox and partners announce opening of £7m Advanced Biomedical Devices laboratory

Randox Laboratories is pleased to announce the opening of a state-of-the-art Advanced Biomedical Engineering Laboratory today, the result of an innovative partnership with some of Northern Ireland’s leading business and education stakeholders.

The strategic collaboration with Invest Northern Ireland, Ulster University and Heartsine Technologies to develop the £7 million laboratory aims to transform the future of healthcare. The lab, which is based at Ulster University, will offer expertise and state of the art equipment to assist companies to develop prototypes for the biomedical, engineering, electronic device and aerospace sectors.

Welcoming the new lab, Dr Peter FitzGerald from Randox Laboratories said: “As one of the UK’s leading life sciences companies, we are delighted to be a partner in this innovative collaboration and to promote Northern Ireland as a global life sciences hub. We believe the greatest improvements to patients’ lives are possible through the continuous development of new technologies.

“This unique laboratory will facilitate that, as it will allow the rapid development of test prototype devices and also assist us to expand our unique range of high-calibre analyser systems.”

Tracey Meharg, Invest NI’s Executive Director of Business Solutions said: “The new Bio Devices Lab is a welcome and exciting development for Northern Ireland’s Health & Life Sciences sector. The facility will open up opportunities for stronger innovation by hosting a suite of equipment which will allow companies to quickly develop prototypes and medical devices for testing.

“It is a great example of how partnerships between government, industry and academia can enhance Northern Ireland as a knowledge economy and boost the credibility and visibility of Northern Ireland as a global leader in connected health.”  

Prof Jim McLaughlin from Ulster University said: Developing technology platforms to help translate our world class science and discovery to a device format as promptly as possible is essential for the very best design and performance.

“In healthcare technology, Ulster University leads the way in the development of new patient monitoring systems, stimulation devices, wearable solutions and diagnostic sensing.

“The lab will enable our researchers to develop the strong leadership and innovation skills so critical to future industry growth, working in collaboration with our industry partners.”

The total investment is £7.4m. Invest NI has offered assistance of £3.7m through a Grant for R&D, with Ulster University contributing £2.9m and £716,000 invested through industry collaborations with Randox Laboratories and Heartsine Technologies. Invest NI’s R&D support is part funded by ERDF under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.

Celebrating the opening of the Advanced Biomedical Engineering Laboratory are (from left) Professor Brian Meenan, Ulster University; Tracy Meharg, Invest NI; Professor Jim McLaughlin, Ulster University; and Stuart McGregor, Randox Laboratories


Staff Newsletter July / August 2017 Edition

Staff Newsletter July / August 2017 Edition

We are delighted to be able to share with you the July / August 2017 edition of our We Are Randox staff newsletter!

Click on the image for a range of company and staff news from the past two months – including our annual Sales Conference, AACC, Randox Fest 2017, and of course plenty of exciting staff weddings and engagements!

** Please note that image links work most efficiently in your Google Chrome browser**


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