Hannah Paish Article in NU Cnnect Oct2018_2

Hannah Paish is forging a new career path for technicians

This article was originally published on Newcastle University NUConnect Sharepoint and written by Susanne Lewis, Faculty Communication Officer at the Faculty of Medical Sciences.

Hannah Paish is based in the Institute of Cellular Medicine and she's combining her studies with working as a research technician for a university service FibroFind. Here she tells us a bit more about her chosen career path.

What was your first introduction to lab work?

It was during my Masters degree that I first experienced what working in a research laboratory entailed. I really enjoyed leading my own research and felt very supported by my supervisors, Dr Lee Borthwick and Dr Nick Kalson.

Why move into a technician role?

During my Masters I quickly realised the importance of the technical staff in the laboratory, with most of the experimental techniques taught to me by technicians.

Whilst I enjoyed research, I wanted to focus on further developing the methodologies I had acquired during my Masters and therefore I transitioned into a Research Technician role in the Fibrosis Research Group. During this time myself and Mark Bryan, another technician in the Fibrosis Lab, have further developed a novel technology to model fibrosis in precision cut liver slices.

What next?

The support I have received from the lab has enabled me to take the next step in my career and start a PhD whilst maintaining my technical role. I will be working with Professor Derek Mann and Dr Lee Borthwick with funding support from the charity Duchenne UK. The focus of my PhD will be to utilise the skills I developed as a technician to apply our precision cut slice technology to human heart tissue, with the overall aim to use the system to model fibrosis and test novel therapies for diseases such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

How is combining working as a technician and a PhD?

Whilst working as a technician I have had the opportunity to present my research to other technicians, both as a presentation at an NU Tech event and as a poster at the recent IST Conference. I've also just had my first author paper published in the top pathology journal American Journal of Pathology with a 2nd one about to be submitted. I would definitely encourage any students who are undecided about starting a PhD, or looking to develop their scientific skills further, to consider becoming a technician. It has provided me with invaluable experiences that will only enhance my PhD.

Author Susanne Lewis / Hannah Paich

Last modified: Fri, 26 Oct 2018 11:12:53 BST