We are pleased to introduce Mohammad Ali Rafique, who joined VH Bio in January 2022 as a Transplant Technical Sales Specialist. Hear about his background, his role at VH Bio and his hobbies:
In 2007, I graduated with a 2.1 Biomedical Science BSc (Hons) degree from the University of the West of England. I joined NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) in 2008 at their brand-new Bristol facility; initially to provide Quality Assurance support for the Blood Donor Testing department but subsequently moving to the Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (H&I) laboratory in 2009. I started as a trainee biomedical scientist (BMS) but completed my Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration to continue work as a fully qualified BMS. In 2013, I then moved to the Oxford H&I laboratory, a big decision prompted mainly to experience how the laboratory supported their local solid organ transplant programmes. During my time in Oxford, I progressed to BMS Specialist, continued education in my own time to complete the British Society of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (BSHI) Diploma, and gained HCPC registration to practice as a Clinical Scientist.
My roles in the H&I laboratory have grown and developed throughout my career, which included: working within the national platelet and granulocyte immunology laboratory, supporting local haematopoietic and solid organ transplant programmes, and contributing to 24/7 on-call rotas. I have extensive experience in relevant scientific protocols including immunofluorescence assays, various PCR-driven methods (including SSP, SSO, SBT, and NGS), HLA antibody characterisation, and CDC and flow cytometric crossmatching. However, I am also the current Editor of the national BSHI Newsletter, a role I perform in my own time; this is because I enjoy keeping up to date with H&I research and firmly believe that there is a need for constant evolution in scientific practice, as the problems of tomorrow cannot be solved with yesterday’s technology. Having worked closely with the VH Bio team for most of my career, I believe this new role provides a constructive way to use my extensive experience to evaluate emerging technologies which, if implemented correctly, could contribute to improved patient outcomes.
Outside of work, you can often find me reading; be it audiobooks, kindle or even (gasp) a physical book. I can also be easily persuaded into playing a boardgame or two and even run several RPG campaigns for my friends. I’d love to learn more languages or improve at guitar, but there are only so many hours in the day!