Hi, my name is Catriona Corbishley - Biochemistry, MBiolSci University of Liverpool
Hi, I’m Catriona and I’m a Bioscience Undergraduate Industrial Placement Student (UIPS) based at AstraZeneca, Alderley Park. As part of my integrated Masters, I have spent my fourth year on placement within AstraZeneca’s Safety Screening Centre. This department aims to identify hazards then influence chemical design and decision-making during drug discovery. Whilst here I have researched novel human induced stem cell-derived renal cells with the aim of developing an improved in vitro model for drug-induced kidney toxicity. The training and support I have received has allowed me to make meaningful contributions to my project and wider department, giving me the confidence to handle responsibilities I would have previously shied away from. Throughout my project, I have been encouraged to input my own thoughts and ideas and ask any questions I have which has vastly increased my knowledge and independence in the lab. Further to my project, I have assisted other projects within my department such as cardiac, hepatic and mitochondrial toxicity assessments which afforded me the use of many new techniques and advanced technologies.
Whilst balancing full-time employment with my Master’s degree was challenging, I quickly learnt to prioritise tasks and organise my time to accommodate both university and work commitments. Furthermore, the experience and skills my placement has provided have improved my academic work and opened new and exciting opportunities for my future which would have previously been out of reach. I have enjoyed working within such a supportive, collaborative and enthusiastic environment with people who are truly passionate about what they do and am delighted to be joining AstraZeneca permanently at the end of my placement year.
In addition to my lab work, I have had many new experiences, such as attending scientific conferences, visiting colleagues at other AstraZeneca sites and representing AstraZeneca at STEM events. Like Oliver, I also joined the AZinspire network and attended many Azinspire events such as career talks, workshops and symposiums. These events allowed me to meet people from all areas of the company which gave me a greater understanding of AstraZeneca as a whole.
I would recommend AstraZeneca’s UIPS year to anyone considering industrial experience and believe the training, experience and opportunities it provides are invaluable to anyone considering a career in science.