After completing my BSc in virology, I was undecided about whether I wanted to study for a PhD, so I began a role as a research assistant in a vaccine research laboratory. During this time, I realised that I didn’t particularly enjoy lab work, but I thoroughly enjoyed learning about virology and immunology, the responsibility of leading my own research, communicating the findings of my research to different audiences, collaborations with other research institutes, and the teamwork and culture. I began researching different careers away from the lab that might encompass the parts of my research assistant role that I found most fulfilling, and I realised that it might not be necessary to complete a PhD to pursue my career ambitions.
I spent 2 years as the production editor for a newly launched, open-access, biomedical research journal, which was really the foundation for my interests in publishing and communicating science to a variety of audiences through different formats. Unfortunately, I found the scope for career progression somewhat limited and that publishing jobs seemed to be restricted to a few locations in the UK, and so, in 2010, I applied to be a medical writer at various healthcare communications agencies, including AMICULUM.
I have now been at AMICULUM for 12 years and have progressed from a medical writer to a senior medical writer, editorial lead, line manager, account director and I am now the joint agency lead for Cence, which is a specialist publications agency that launched in 2021. At Cence, the goal for our team of publications experts is to maximise the reach and understanding of scientific evidence by combining high-quality technical content with impactful visuals in audience-focused materials. I have found this goal aligns well with my current interests, including many of my original career
When I joined AMICULUM, I was interested in an opportunity to work in oncology and I have since spent much of my time supporting publications associated with the same investigational oncology treatment; it’s been truly rewarding to have developed long-standing relationships with investigators and partnerships with clients. Another particularly rewarding aspect of my role at AMICULUM has been training medical writers and it’s been really special to see entry-level (trainee) writers progress their own careers at AMICULUM. Throughout my time at AMICULUM, I’ve been fortunate to work as part of some wonderful teams, with many very talented individuals. Our AMICULUM culture and our values of integrity, fairness, collaboration and enterprise are really important to me from both a personal development perspective, but also as a mentor, line manager and agency co-lead.
My career at AMICULUM has certainly been fast paced and hard work, but I have found a career in medical publications to be varied, compelling and ultimately very rewarding. I’m looking forward to continuing to explore the latest advances in publications and am highly motivated to help maximise the reach and understanding of scientific evidence to different audiences.
This personal profile first appeared in the FirstMedCommsJob careers guide, Ensuring timely dissemination of research: a guide to working as a medical publications professional, published September 2022