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Patricia Cleary, Senior Systems Verification & Validation Scientist
Biomedical Technologies & Medtech

Patricia Cleary, Senior Systems Verification & Validation Scientist

Patricia Cleary is a Senior Systems Verification & Validation Scientist. Her job focuses on testing new instruments that will be used by hospital labs to help diagnose blood based malignancies such as cancer and HIV.

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Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?

My love of cell biology has been the main driver in my career. I realised early on that no other area of work would give me the same satisfaction as science and I find it particularly inspiring at to be working on products that help in the diagnoses of patients. At the end of everything we do at BD is a patient, in the hospital, receiving a diagnosis.

Describe a typical day?

As we work with teams in Germany and in San Jose California, my morning begins by checking any emails or messages I may have received during the night time hours here. Our team will have a quick morning meeting where we discuss the ongoing work and identify any ‘blockers’ – concerns/problems that prevent us from getting our job done that day. After the morning meeting, I spend the rest of my day in the lab testing whether the system or assay is meeting the user requirements. This means my testing is focused on making sure that the instrument works as it is supposed to do and as it is designed. Any problems I discover, which we refer to as defects or bugs, will be reported back into the product development cycle where they will be fixed. My team channels the voice of the customer, who typically works in a hospital lab, to ensure we meet the high standards expected by them.

What are the main tasks and responsibilities?

Our job focuses on testing new instruments/assays (experimental tests) that will be used by hospital labs to help diagnose blood based malignancies such as cancer and HIV. My team channels the voice of the customer, who typically works in a hospital lab, to ensure we meet the high standards expected by them.

What are the main challenges?

The time difference can be a challenge as we work with colleagues on the west coast of America but usually the team is very helpful and considerate when arranging meeting times.

What's cool?

I enjoy working on new and exciting products that have not yet been used by customers.

What is your education to date?

  1. Biomedical Science in NUIG
  2. PhD in Biochemistry

What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?

My PhD gave me a lot of skills in troubleshooting and perseverance, where I learned to look at a problem and logically go through the steps to find the source.

Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?

My personal life is very important to me. I am recently engaged and am an avid camogie player so creating a work-life balance is key to my personal happiness. BD is very flexible and supportive of my life outside of work and even though we work with colleagues in the US I never need to miss a training session in the evening!

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

Be open to new possibilities – I never dreamed in secondary school that I would like Biochemistry so you never know what you might like until you try!

What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?

Experience in a lab in a medical device company would be really helpful and will give you a clear idea of what to expect in this position.

What is your current job title?

Senior Systems Verification & Validation Scientist

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