Name: Saghar Missaghian-Cully
Job title: Senior biomedical scientist, Histopathology, Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital
Entry route: Trainee, after completing degree course in Applied Human Biology
Having studied Applied Human Biology at university, I already had a scientific background when I joined the NHS. However, I then needed to take a postgraduate certificate to be eligible for the registration exam and assessment, in order to become a biomedical scientist.
I later completed an MSc and was then able to apply for a senior post within the histopathology team at Guy’s and St Thomas’s, where I am the also Training Officer.
We are responsible for preparing and processing tiny specimens of tissue to identify what disease or infection may be present. You must have good dexterity and concentration, as you need to work safely with some very complex equipment. You also need an understanding of the tissue and disease processes you’re looking for, so you can distinguish them more accurately. It’s a vital job, and today’s healthcare depends on our work for a better understanding of disease.
I enjoy the work because every day you feel like you’re achieving something useful. What we do is vital for helping pathologists make a better diagnosis and find the right treatment for patients.
At the same time, we have the opportunity to go deeper into the science that’s involved and extend our own knowledge, through further training and development.