Charlotte was Platelet Services’ first official employee and joined the company in 2020 following her studies in Manchester. Her appointment was supported by a grant from Nottingham Trent University and since joining, Charlotte has been developing her skills and expertise in platelets. In her blog, Charlotte explains how grasping the opportunity to join Platelet Services has provided the catalyst for her career development.
Charlotte is first to admit that she ‘fell into’ science at school as it was a subject area she did well in, receiving a Science Award for her GSCE science exams. This led her to taking the three sciences at BTEC when the seeds of a potential career in science were sown. In 2017, Charlotte went to Manchester Metropolitan University and studied biomedical sciences.
“I remember there was a particular lecture on blood sciences that really stood out to me as a topic area that I wanted to learn more about, and this sparked my initial interest in blood science,” Charlotte recalls.
Realising she wasn’t ready for the real world when she graduated, Charlotte decided to continue her studies at Manchester Metropolitan University, pursuing a one-year Masters degree in haematology and transfusion. Her dissertation research project looked at cancer drugs and their effect on platelets, under the supervision of Dr Sarah Jones.
As the platelets field is so small, Dr Jones already knew Natalia Dovlatova, CEO at Platelet Services, and whilst at a conference, she bumped into Natalia and found out that Platelet Services was looking for a graduate to join the company.
“When Dr Jones told me about the opportunity at Platelet Services, I was excited. The prospect of working for a contract research organisation specialising in platelets was very attractive.”
In February 2020, Charlotte moved to Nottingham and started working at Platelet Services as a research scientist. Grant funding from Nottingham Trent University supported Charlotte’s recruitment which was of huge benefit to a relatively young and small company.
“Moving into the working environment was all very new to me, but since joining Platelet Services I have gained experience with more platelet testing methods especially assays based on flow cytometry. I have also trained to become a phlebotomist where I help to take blood required for our studies.”
Charlotte is very aware of the opportunities that she has been exposed to at Platelet Services. As a small and growing contract research organisation, Charlotte has learnt from the CEO (Natalia Dovlatova) and CSO (Wendy Tomlinson).
“I am not sure I would have experienced this in a larger company. We are a small and supportive team at Platelet Services and I consider myself very fortunate to work alongside, and learn from the team members with all their collective experience in the platelet field and in drug discovery.”
A couple of years on, and Charlotte has taken on a lot more responsibility, including report writing and engaging directly with clients about their projects. Charlotte is also responsible for ordering the consumables and reagents needed for studies and for supporting the lab operations in general.
Looking forward, Charlotte is excited about the prospect of evolving with the company and with that, building her confidence and knowledge of the drug discovery industry and the process of developing drugs.
“I have really landed on my feet at Platelet Services and I am pleased I took the opportunity when it was presented to me. I am lucky to be a part of such a supportive team, where I am given the chance to take on responsibilities, learn and develop. I now have responsibility for a number of projects, which is great. I am not sure I would have this kind of opportunity if I had joined a bigger company.”