GETTING TO KNOW IBIOIC MSC GRADUATE AND RAPIDBIO INTERN, JOSEPHINE GIARD

I catch up with Josi busy calibrating pipettes in the lab. When she isn’t playing football for Glasgow’s Celtic Football Club, Josi has been spending her time helping out at RapidBio, one of IBioIC’s Scale-Up Centres.

Jenni Haggarty, Josi’s manager in the lab, is over the moon to have additional support: “It’s great to have an extra pair of capable hands. Having someone we can trust in the lab gives us peace of mind when delivering practical work for clients.  It also provides me with the opportunity to spend more time with our industrial and academic partners, discussing results and any technical issues to ensure that we get the best possible outcomes from their projects.”

Josi hails from Germany and has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Molecular Biotechnology. She first came to Scotland to carry out a dissertation project with Dr Paul Hoskisson at the University of Strathclyde. Josi clearly fell in love with Glasgow as she stayed on to complete the IBioIC MSc in Biotechnology, which she graduated from this summer.  As part of her course, she developed a new interactive exhibit on biogas production at Glasgow Science Centre – which may be available for the public to view later this year!

Josi’s love of biotechnology started with an interest in diabetes, of which she has personal experience. She wanted to develop new solutions to tackle the disease, but since undertaking the IBioIC Masters, her eyes have been opened to the wider possibilities of biotechnology, particularly environmental biotech: “There were areas of biotechnology that I didn’t even know existed and, although my focus is still medical biotechnology, I find other innovative uses of this tech fascinating.”

At RapidBio, Josi is gaining more hands-on experience in a lab environment. She says “I really wanted to get experience working on industrial projects and to see how they differed from the academic research I have previously been involved in.”  Josi has enjoyed seeing what it’s like to run a project from start to finish – particularly scaling up a bioprocess in the 15L fermenters at RapidBio.

Josi spends a lot of her time training with Celtic Football Club where she has been offered a contract for next season. She would like to focus on football while she can, but would then love to pursue a PhD in medical biotechnology.

Josi’s advice for anyone who wants to follow in her footsteps would be to keep an open mind and try to broaden your skillset, but also don’t be afraid to ask for help from your network.

And would the RapidBio Team recommend an IBioIC trained intern? “Absolutely! The diversity of the graduates and skills they possess are really important to bring a different perspective to the lab. The students also come pre-loaded with a love of IB, an up-to-date knowledge of the sector and an interest in how the industry works making them perfectly suited for lots of different roles.”