Meet the Team | Tracy Thomas

We are excited to launch a new blog series where we talk to members of our more than 400- strong team about why they enjoy their role at Simbec-Orion. We previously spoke with Dr Maria Kozlak on a day in the life of a CRA. This month we are speaking with Tracy Thomas, Head of Small Molecule Analysis.

Hi Tracy, can you start by sharing how long you have been with Simbec-Orion?

This year I will have been with Simbec-Orion for 20 years, having started as a Research Scientist back in 2002. I was promoted to Principal Scientist in 2006, which meant I  had legal responsibility for our projects and supervised the conduct of the laboratory work.  In 2019, I was made Senior Principal Scientist, and was part of the bioanalytical management team, along with two other colleagues.  In March of last year, we reorganised and I was promoted once again, this time to Head of Small Molecule, working with the mass spectrometry team.

What does your role involve on a daily basis?

I lead the mass spectrometry team which at the moment is a team of eight.  I take a leading role in training which I really enjoy. I’m not in the lab as much as I used to be, I help with troubleshooting if needed but I also act as a method development consultant. My team members will come to me with the details of what they have already done, and we work on ideas for what they could try next.

I still act as Principal Scientist and as management I review and sign off project plans, protocols, and reports and I also contribute to the running of the department, including a multitude of meetings, which every Manager adores!

What do you most enjoy about your role?

I love investing in people. I enjoy teaching, I like helping people discover and build their confidence and watching them grow as you give them more responsibility.  Most people love to feel that they are constantly learning and progressing, as long as they have the appropriate support. From a personal perspective, I’m motivated by the excitement of science; I love the challenge of a method development project.  It’s frustrating when things are difficult and going wrong, but when you get it, and it’s working, it’s a real buzz! I can sit back and think we did it, we worked it out.

Why do you think the work we/you do is important?

I strongly believe that every single person within Simbec-Orion should feel proud of their contribution to the development of new therapeutics. Every role at Simbec-Orion is equally valuable in the mission to get new and improved treatments to the people who need them.  That could be anything from a brand new cancer therapy or treatment for COPD, to a new formulation of a painkiller that works five minutes faster for a person who lives with chronic pain. The next patient to need the treatment we are working on today could be one of our own or a family member, and we can all help to make it happen.

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