× Medicines Discovery Catapult
An article from our series:

Which team do you work in and what does that team do?

I work on samples with Helen Hind, which is part of our Discovery team. The team’s remit is to help companies locate and access clinical samples for use in their research.

What’s your role within your team?

I support many of the team’s activities: tracking and progressing enquiries, supporting the generation of our supplier network and our virtual biobank initiative and I capture case studies and market insights on UK sample assets and access.

I am also able to advise and signpost researchers to sources of health data, especially from UK data providers such as UK Biobank, CPRD, NHS Digital and HDR UK’s Alliance and Hub organisations.

How does your role support other functions within the organisation?

A focus for me is in supporting the needs of our in-house laboratory scientists for clinical samples to use in their projects. I’ll be looking to help the team’s efforts in developing new opportunities for clinical sample access through our developing network of suppliers.

What attracted you to the drug discovery industry and Medicines Discovery Catapult?

I have a background in life science having spent a large proportion of my career working for large pharma as a lab scientist and latterly as a Computational Biologist. After a short break away from the industry, the opportunity to work for MDC and be part of a team that is supporting drug discovery, especially the smaller companies in this field, was very exciting.

Tell us about any work you’ve done that you’re most proud of.

In 2019 we published the report Use of health data by the life sciences industry, in collaboration with ABPI and supported by HDR UK. The report helped to highlight the experiences of industry in the use of health data for research, and the challenges often faced in gaining access to it. I had the opportunity to share the findings with a variety of health data stakeholders as the complex health data landscape rapidly evolves.

If you could swap your job with anyone in the world, who would you swap with?

I’m always really envious of the people who work on Natural History documentaries. I’d love to have a job that took me close to nature to study amazing creatures. Especially if that involved diving!

Learn more about our Samples & Data team – meet Helen Hind, Biosamples Lead to get an insight into how her role supports SME’s.