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Agar Scientific

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Meet... Carole Noel - Lab Technician, Agar Scientific

Carole joined Agar Scientific in 2013 as part of the specimen laboratory team. Agar Express caught up with Carole to find out how she was settling in.

When did you start at Agar?

I began in July 2013, on what was supposed to be a four month contract, but I enjoyed it so much I stayed! Prior to joining Agar, I spent 20 years as a histologist in a research laboratory, so this is a bit of a departure for me.

What is it you like about the job?

I have always really enjoyed making things, and the challenge of learning new skills. We manufacture a wide range of specimens, films and support grids for electron microscopy, so each day I’m working on something different. The launch of the new website means that we now receive a steady stream of orders, and you never know what will be required next. We do try to make more of each item than has been ordered, and we are slowly building up a stock of pre-manufactured items, but we also need to be flexible enough to deal with urgent special orders.

Is there anything you miss about being a histologist?

Colour! I really love colour, and I used to spend my time staining samples a variety of interesting colours to see different things. Now everything is shades of grey.

What is the most challenging thing about your work?

You can’t hide much from an electron microscope, so we work to very stringent quality control procedures. And believe it or not, many of our processes are weather dependent; you can’t even consider making certain things if it’s raining outside – which is tricky at the moment – yet other protocols require a humidity chamber if it’s too warm and sunny.

What’s next?

We recruited two additional staff members in November, so we now have a good team in place, and are planning to bring even more of our work in house, which will be exciting.