Technical Staff Profile: Kara Simpson

Trainee Research Technician
School of Medical Sciences, Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology & Gastroenterology

Describe your work area and its importance.

I am a technician for the Piper-Hanley Research Group. The group focuses their research on fibrosis mainly in the liver.

On a typical day, what do you spend most of your time on?

On a typical day I send a lot of time conducting immunohistochemistry stains using different antibodies and polymer kits to identify where different antibodies are in relation to different forms of scarring.

Describe your career path to date, including highs and lows.

From finishing high school I went on to study Alevels ( Chemistry, Biology, Maths and Psychology). From the second week of my biology course the teacher told me I was going to fail the year… This comment was then repeated multiple times throughout the year. So I put all of my effort into my biology revision and none of the other subjects. Subsequently my grades in the other subjects began to slip and I went on to fail 3 of the 4 subjects at the end of the year (Biology was one that I failed). This meant that I could not enrol onto the second year.
The day after I got my results I applied for the Laboratory Technical Apprenticeship Scheme at the University and was one of 6 successful candidates. Over the last two years I have been on rotations around different parts of the university varying from 3 month placements to 6 months. At the end of my second year I applied for my current post in the Piper-Hanley Research Group and was successfully appointed due to the experience I gained whilst on the scheme. This is currently my third year at the university. And most importantly I am working in a biology environment. A career path with didn’t seem possible three years ago.

What drives you?

The motivation to push myself and improve both my knowledge and my skills to further my career.

Tell us a funny story, work-related or not:

I don’t have any…

What’s the best career advice you’ve received?

Don’t Give Up




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