In the latest edition of our Immunology & Inflammation Staff Profile series, we spoke to Dr Kerry Rostron, one of I&I’s newest members, about her role and first impressions of the Department.
Introduce yourself – who are you and what do you do?
My name is Kerry Rostron and I am the Laboratory Manager and Section Safety Coordinator for the Centre for Inflammatory Disease, which sits within the Department of Immunology and Inflammation.
I am responsible for the day-to-day management of the research laboratory space and equipment, as well as having responsibility for inductions, training and health and safety matters within the department. As part of my position, I will be receiving training to take on other roles within the Department including First Aider, Radiation Protection Supervisor, Display Screen Equipment Assessor and Mental Health First Aider. I will also be responsible for procurement and looking after the laboratory finances as well as liaising with company representatives to ensure core laboratory equipment is maintained and serviced.
When did you join the College, and where were you working before this?
I joined the College at the end of September this year. After completing my MSc at the University of Leeds and a PhD in Cancer Biology at the University of Central Lancashire, I went on to work as a BBSRC Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Central Lancashire. Following this, I moved to the University of Reading to conduct postdoctoral research funded by the British Heart Foundation. Before joining Imperial, I worked as a Research Scientist in industry conducting pre-clinical experiments in the drug discovery process, before returning for a short time to the University of Reading as a Senior Postdoctoral Research Associate.
What are your first impressions of Imperial and the Department?
My first impressions of Imperial and the Department are very positive. The Department is very diverse and inclusive. Everybody has been very friendly, approachable and supportive in helping me to develop in my new role.
What have you found to be the biggest challenge so far in taking up your new role?
I have found the biggest challenge so far has been getting to grips with the College systems I need to use for the varied tasks within my role. In addition to working alongside Principal Investigators and researchers, I frequently liaise with a wide range of people working in different services such as Security, ICT, Estates, Safety and Administration, so a further challenge has been trying to remember everybody’s names!
And the biggest highlight?
Apparently, the answer to this question is working with my new line manager! I would have to say though, the biggest highlight has been the support and positive feedback received from both researchers and Principal Investigators regarding the work I have done and changes that I have implemented so far in the laboratories.
What are your aspirations for the next five years?
This is a tough one to answer as I am still at an early stage in my new position. In the next five years, I feel I would like to progress into a senior role in management or safety or both! I also hope to achieve Chartered Scientist status within this time.
When you’re not working, what are your main passions and hobbies?
I enjoy travelling and experiencing different cultures. I am very excited to be ticking Japan off my list in November! I also enjoy cooking, reading, driving (I’m a bit of a petrol head!) and adding to my gin collection.
If you were exiled to a desert island but allowed one luxury item, what would it be?
An unlimited supply of gin and tonic would be lovely!
And finally: what’s one thing you’d like staff in the Department to know about you or your role that we haven’t already covered?
I also have a BSc (Hons) in Forensic Science, so if anything is amiss in the lab, I have a good chance of finding out “whodunnit”.