Meet Rich and Tori, who both work in the OGT commercial team.
Both Rich and Tori have previously worked in clinical diagnostic labs. Together, they have over 40 years combined experience in clinical diagnostics. They explain how this background and experience has been invaluable in helping them to support their customers today.
I joined OGT 3 years ago and came into the commercial life sciences sector via a rather unusual route as a registered Clinical Cytogeneticist. I have more than twenty years diagnostic laboratory experience, previously working in the Forensic Science Service, UK Regional Genetics labs and also establishing a diagnostic genetics laboratory at Sidra Medical and Research Centre in Doha, Qatar.
I’ve been with OGT for nearly 2 years. My previous role was with VWR Avantor where I was a Sales Manager for 6 years, previous to that I was a registered Clinical Cytogeneticist at St Georges, London (5 years) and Bristol (5 years). Having a background as a clinical scientist has really helped me understand our customers’ issues quickly, giving me the ability to understand how we can make a contribution to the clinical outcome of their patients.
I sometimes take for granted the knowledge and experience that I’ve gained over the years. Very early on in my role it soon became clear that FISH expertise varied widely across countries. It’s important to adapt to the needs of each lab, helping to educate and provide training materials to increase understanding of diseases and best practices.
Yes, I’d agree with Rich totally! It’s also important to have no pre-conceived ideas on what each new lab needs and reappraising each time what they can achieve within their own framework and the resources they have available.
From a job satisfaction perspective this role allows me to actually help more customers than my previous roles. With my experience I can help them set-up their laboratory and very often just some small changes to laboratory protocols or techniques can make a huge difference.
Tori and I have over 40 years of clinical cytogenetics experience between us. I’m a registered Cytogeneticist and there are quite a few Cytogeneticists employed within other functions across OGT such as support, regulatory and medical affairs. This allows us to develop products that are extremely relevant to our customers, and provide advanced levels of support for them.
Furthering customer clinical knowledge so that they can do the best for their patients is incredibly valuable and motivating for me - I enjoy finding new and relevant solutions for customers. Our custom FISH probes that we develop in Cambridge often find new diagnostic solutions and we also help our customers to design their own unique probes. In short, this helps to further advance knowledge in the research community.
With more advanced technologies such as NGS becoming more prevalent I expect to see FISH usage to level off. However, FISH will not be superseded due to its simplicity. Our extensive hybridisation-based experience helps us support labs in the transition to newer technologies through our SureSeq™ and CytoSure® NGS ranges.
The days of separate molecular genetics and cytogenetics labs is over, we live in an integrated world where technologies are fully interchangeable. For example NGS, automation, multiplexing and digital pathology, whilst running more tests with less input, at a lower cost and maintaining high standards are very important for our customers. With our links within the Sysmex group we can tap into distributor links globally. For me that helps me tremendously in my role as I know I can always have an expert to call on when I need it.
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