Celebrating
Lab Week 2019

April 21-27, 2019

Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, or Lab Week is an annual celebration of medical laboratory professionals and pathologists who play a vital role in health care and patient advocacy. We are proud to have hundreds of talented scientists as part of our innovative workforce.

We asked some of our laboratory colleagues to share about their background, who in the medical laboratory field inspires them most, and advice they would give to laboratory professionals just starting in their career.


Maddison Dorward
Associate Scientist, Bioanalytical Laboratories

How did you get started working in a bioanalytical laboratory?
After graduating from college in 2017, I was looking for career opportunities and came across an opening at Q2 Solutions. I wanted to work in the medical field in some way, but I knew I didn’t want to directly work with patients. What excited me most about the position was that I would have a small part in improving human health and I would be working in a laboratory setting doing hands-on science. 

Who in the medical laboratory field inspires you the most?
My previous manager, Ashley Ruane. It’s clear that she truly cares about the work we do and the impact it has on people around the world. Her passion and drive are inspiring, and that motivates me to take an interest in what I’m doing and to complete the highest quality work I can. 

What do you enjoy about working in a bioanalytical laboratory?
The thing I enjoy most is the fact that my work is meaningful. I like knowing that what I am doing is assisting companies in developing new treatments for illnesses and diseases. It’s easy to get lost in the day to day tasks of the job, but ultimately I’m helping to change people’s lives.   

What advice would you give to younger laboratory professionals just starting in their career?
The best way to grow as a professional is to reach out to others that have been where you are. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to ask for help, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. 


Haylee McLean
Team Lead, Isolations/QC

How did you get started working in a genomics laboratory?
I was finishing up my last year as a genetics major, working in a Drosophila lab doing multiple experiments on genetic pathways with factors in nutrition. Seeing these various nutritional effects change the genetic makeup of the fruit fly over multiple generations was the inspiration to work in a genomics laboratory. I came to Q2 Solutions specifically through a friend who also works here and referred me.

Who in the medical laboratory field inspires you the most?
Originally, I was inspired by Rosalind Franklin while researching her in school. Currently, I am inspired by one of our Assay Development managers Jennifer Sims. I’ve worked with her on multiple projects and each time I have been amazed at how she gets things done. Her work ethic and drive are things I aspire to. She has immense compassion and patience to explain experiments to me and help me with my own. She also encourages continuing my education with her passion for science and by recommending journals or papers. She has been a great mentor to me and has helped me get to where I am today.

What do you enjoy about working in a genomics laboratory?
I enjoy the constant flow of different sample types, being on the Isolations/QC team I am always seeing something new from various clients. Some people might say that isolations and quality control are boring and repetitive. I would say they are wrong! We are always updating current processes and learning new ways to extract RNA or DNA from different types of samples. I always feel encouraged to grow and further my knowledge of the processes that we run.

What advice would you give to younger laboratory professionals just starting in their career?
I would advise to start networking. Meet people in the field and ask about their jobs, the highs and lows that they have experienced. It’s a great way to figure out what career path is best for you.


Sarah Daijogo, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist

How did you get started working in a vaccines laboratory?
I was in graduate school at the time and an acquaintance of mine was looking for a virologist to fill an entry level scientist position at Focus Diagnostics Clinical Trials (now QSolutions Vaccines). Since I had the scientific background and was looking to finish my PhD soon, the opportunity was there to start my career in industry. It really came down to knowing the right people and taking advantage of an opportunity when it came knocking.

Who in the medical laboratory field inspires you the most?
I have had a few mentors in my past that currently work or have worked in the medical laboratory field. These mentors all have different, but great attributes that have helped me in my career. Whether it be giving advice on trying to achieve work/life balance, building good relationships within and outside of the business unit and lending an ear to talk science and career I will continue to admire and respect all they have accomplished in their fields and their willingness to help.

What do you enjoy about working in a vaccines laboratory?
I enjoy the diversity of the work we do. I have been exposed to all aspects of the business in my position here in Vaccines (business, finance, regulatory, science, project and people management) and have also been able to connect and build lasting relationships within the business unit and with our clients.

What advice would you give to younger laboratory professionals just starting in their career?
Advice I would give to younger laboratory professionals just starting their career is that there is no job too small and that nothing gets done alone. Being able to work as part of a team and being flexible are two key attributes that will serve them well as they progress in their careers whether it be within Q2 Solutions or somewhere else.


Amrita Chadha, MS
Associate Manager

How did you get started working in a laboratory?
As a kid, I was always interested in science, however, I didn’t know much about medical laboratories back then. You go to a physician and talk about your concerns but you don’t think much about what happens behind the scenes, which enable the physicians to understand the underlying cause of your concerns or symptoms. My interest in science led me to obtain bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biotechnology/life sciences, where I was exposed to the world of healthcare. After I graduated, I opted to work as a researcher in a medical laboratory to gain a better understanding of this field. It didn’t take much long after that for me to figure out that this is where I belonged.

Who in the medical laboratory field inspires you the most?
I draw inspiration from everyone working in this field, from phlebotomists to pathologists. Medical lab professionals contribute to society tremendously by helping save lives. So, when I see my colleagues getting up early in the morning and coming to work all charged up, it invigorates me and pushes me to learn more and continue to contribute towards this great cause.

What do you enjoy about working in the laboratory?
I get satisfaction at the end of the day knowing that I am, in some little way, helping to alleviate patient suffering. Also, I’m always learning by working alongside some extremely knowledgeable people within and outside the laboratory. This keeps me motivated and interested at all times.

What advice would you give to your younger laboratory professionals just starting in their careers?
Medical laboratories require precision, accuracy, good documentation practices, thorough planning, and good trouble-shooting skills. Therefore, I’d highly recommend young professionals to develop these skills which can be developed secondhand by observing more experienced professionals and following their guidance. This field has endless possibilities to offer if you are dedicated to learn and grow.


Craig Morrison
Supervisor, Flow Cytometry – Edinburgh, Scotland

How did you get started working in a laboratory? I have always found science interesting, and when I was at university I was always quite good at the practical lab-based classes, so I knew a career working in a lab was for me. I saw an advertisement online for an MLA position at Quintiles (now IQVIA), applied and was successful. I then was able to apply internally for the Flow Cytometry department … and the rest is history.

Who in the medical laboratory field inspires you the most? I didn’t go to university straight from school and couldn’t really decide what it was I wanted to do. It was when I was studying higher level Biology classes at college I was encouraged to consider science as career by my lecturer Dr Moira Wilson, she gave me the confidence to apply to University, something I never thought I would do. I don’t think the value of a truly inspirational mentor can be underestimated.

What do you enjoy about working in the laboratory? I like the variety working in a lab gives you, I enjoy the hands-on practical stuff, but I also enjoy the data analysis side of things, I couldn’t just sit in front of a computer all day and working in a lab gives you the best of both worlds. As I have progressed in my career, another part of the job I have really grown to enjoy is the training and mentoring of the newer members of the team, I find it rewarding passing on the skills I have learned over the past 5 years working in a clinical laboratory.

What advice would you give to younger laboratory professionals just starting in their career? Be prepared to work hard, working in a lab is a team effort, we all need to start at the bottom and work our way up, and if you put in the effort you will find that working in a clinical laboratory is a rewarding and enjoyable career.


hazel smithHazel Smith
Associate Manager, Medical Lab, Anatomic Pathology

How did you get started working in a laboratory?
I have always wanted to work in Science in some capacity. I started as a lab aide in a pre-clinical research pathology department. It was a great way to learn how a lab works and confirmed that this was the career for me.

Who in the medical laboratory field inspires you the most?
I’ve been privileged to work with some amazing colleagues at Q2 Solutions. Seeing people from different teams working together to ensure the best outcomes for Sponsors and ultimately for patients has been really inspiring.

What do you enjoy about working in the laboratory?
I really enjoy working in a fast paced, supportive team environment where what we do has a direct impact on improving the health and quality of life of patients.

What advice would you give to younger laboratory professionals just starting in their career?
Always be open for learning opportunities even when doing seemingly routine tasks and you will get so much more from your career. After 25 years of working in histology I still feel like there is so much more to know and learn.