Meet the people behind the NHS Test and Trace team: Callum, RNA Extraction Technician
As the UK continues its fight against COVID-19, we speak to some of the people who are making important differences behind the scenes within the NHS Test and Trace Laboratories. Callum Hughes, an RNA Extraction Technician based at the Charnwood Lighthouse Lab operated by PerkinElmer, in Loughborough, shares with us his journey so far.
Can you tell us a bit about what you do as an RNA Extraction Technician?
As an RNA Extraction Technician at the Charnwood Lighthouse Lab, in Loughborough, I process samples on a re-formatter and on an instrument called chemagic where we extract RNA – it’s all in the title!
Where were you before joining the team?
I was a studying my Master’s degree at the University of Nottingham in Microbiology and Immunology. This field of study meant I had to work a lot within bacteria and viruses, so when this role came along, it was a perfect fit for me.
How did you hear about this position?
I chose to join the lab because one of my university supervisors had made me aware of a potential job opportunity – which so happened to be this. As part of the Master’s, we get a lot of training on how to do some of this work in the lab, so I decided to send a few emails. Before long, I got a phone call back and here I am!
What has your experience been like since working here?
After receiving training and taking on an active role within the NHS Test and Trace programme, it feels great – everyone here is so supportive. There’s so much support and training on how to do the work and it really feels like we are actually making a positive difference to an otherwise terrible situation.