Senior Research Scientist, Paul Cato, started out his career in haematology and shares the career journey that led him back to working with platelets here at Platelet Services.
Always interested in science, Paul went to the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol to study biology. It was while he was studying towards a pharmacology degree, he became interested in a placement year with the NHS, so went to North Bristol NHS Trust where he experienced his first role outside of academia. After his year out, he had developed a keen interest in haematology and immunology, and switched his degree focus and graduated with a biomedical sciences degree.
After his degree, he went back to the hospital and finished his training, qualifying as a HCPC registered Biomedical Scientist.
Paul stayed in Bristol for a few years before moving to the Midlands in 2009 to complete his Masters in Immunology at the University of Nottingham. Upon completion of his Masters, he was offered a scholarship to do his PhD in immunology and tissue engineering, working on an immunocompetent model of the lung.
After his PhD, Paul worked as a Research Associate for the University of Nottingham before moving back into the NHS to work in Immunology as a Specialist Biomedical Scientist, at first in Bath at the Royal United Hospitals Trust in 2015 and then at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge in 2016.
Paul remembers: “The move to Adenbrooke’s was something I wanted to do to broaden my NHS experience. I enjoyed working in a role supporting the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and I particularly enjoyed the investigative nature of the work I had been involved in earlier in my career.”
Paul decided to seek another opportunity and moved back to Nottingham in 2017. He joined Albumedix as a Research Scientist, where his role involved setting up bespoke immuno-assays and specialist ELISAs for pharmacokinetic studies as part of in-house drug development projects.
“This was my first experience of industry. I worked with a really great team where I had the opportunity to expand my knowledge and expertise in assay development. It was interesting to learn and understand how things can be improved to get the best results. I enjoyed the challenge of developing assays.”
The programme that Paul and the team were working on was shut down, resulting in the team being made redundant. Already aware of the specialist DMPK contract research organisation, XenoGesis, through mutual projects, Paul applied and joined the in vitro team in 2018.
When XenoGesis was taken over by Sygnature Discovery, Paul moved across to continue the work he had been doing at XenoGesis.
A year later, he joined Platelet Services as Senior Research Scientist.
“I am very proud of my time spent working in DMPK and I was again very fortunate to work as part of a fantastic team. I felt I flourished as a scientist and gained a great deal of experience working on a wide variety of bespoke research projects. The opportunity to join Platelet Services was exciting as I was able to continue my career in research while returning to my hematological roots in the sciences.
“I started my career working for the NHS in haematology and immunology, which was where I gained a great deal of experience in clinical blood work and was able to build my knowledge in red blood cells, platelets and leukocytes. Moving into industry enabled me to focus on the development of bespoke assays for pharmaceutical research. Being part of Platelet Services provides the perfect mix of industry along with the company’s roots in academia. It is a small team, and I enjoy being involved in many projects as well as interacting with clients on a daily basis.
“The work we do here is bespoke and tailored to the client’s project or needs. So, there is a lot of opportunity to try different things. There is often more than one way of doing something – bringing our expertise together to solve problems as a team is something I find very interesting and inspiring.”