UU BioMed students get summer lab experience through Randox Academy

  • Randox Laboratories is this summer hosting a Student Training Academy for Ulster University Biomedical Science students, who have been unable to complete practical laboratory classes due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Being held at the global diagnostics company’s headquarters, the Randox Science Park in Antrim, each rotation of the academy will take place over two weeks to cover key laboratory techniques and technologies, as well as industry standard practices and employability skills.

    Modules range from Chromatography and Spectrophotometers to Robotics, PPE Awareness and PCR; the testing method currently employed by Randox’s team of Covid-19 scientists to detect the virus for the UK’s National Testing Programme.

    Elizabeth Ferguson, Randox Training Specialist commented: "We have enjoyed a long-standing and successful partnership with Ulster University for many years, including but not limited to our university-wide sports sponsorship and the recently announced Randox Professor of Medicine post, and are delighted that our collaboration with this renowned university has grown further in the form of this Randox Student Academy."

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    Dr Valerie Hinch, Course Director for the BSc Hons Biomedical Science programmes at Ulster University’s Coleraine campus added that "this training will help us to inspire a new generation of scientists who can make a real impact on healthcare in our society, with benefits for researchers, clinicians and patients alike.”

    “I’ve always had such a keen interest in science, and so I was really excited for the practical and hands-on elements of my first year of studies of Biomedical Science at Ulster University’s Coleraine campus – but Covid had other ideas!" said Coleraine-based Ulster University Biomedical Science Student Aimee Stitt, who won the Randox Training Academy “Stellar Student” Award.

    “As I hadn’t been in a lab for so long I wasn’t really sure what to expect and had forgotten in a way how interesting it is, but the experience of the Randox Student Training Academy exceeded all my expectations and reignited my passion for science," she continued.

    "I’m so grateful to the team at Randox for giving us the opportunity to not only gain key lab skills, but also to meet real-life scientists and to learn from them and ask them for advice about what it’s like to work in the industry.

    “I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to get an insight into the Randox COVID-19 labs, and it was the icing on the cake, at the end of an incredibly enjoyable two weeks, to win the Stellar Student award. Thank you Randox and Ulster University for a very rewarding experience which has made me so excited for what is up ahead – at university and in my career as a scientist.”

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    The first rotation of the Randox Student Training Academy took place from Monday 14 – Friday 25 June, with 12 Biomedical Science students completing the course. The next session is 6 – 17 September 2021.

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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