We are delighted to welcome Jess Brookes, Transplant Technical Sales Specialist, to the VH Bio team! Learn about her role at VH Bio, her background and interests:
Describe what your job entails.
Working in partnership with laboratories to identify ways in which we may be able to support them, such as answering any technical queries they may have, and providing training and education on how to utilise the products in VH Bio’s portfolio.
What is your career and/or educational background?
I have a multidisciplinary background spanning fifteen years, starting in Biochemistry, then Molecular and Cytogenetic Oncology, before 6.5 years in Immunology & Immunogenetics, and another 6 years in Histocompatibility & Immunogenetics. I attained a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Science at the University of the West of England, passed the BSHI Diploma in 2019, and have lectured on MSc courses in Transfusion and Transplantation Science for both universities in Bristol.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Spare time? What’s that? 😂 I’m constantly on the go, but if I do get a bit of free time, my favourite things to do would be: 1) Hang out with my 4-year-old (he’s the best); 2) Go to live music gigs (especially blues/rock and roll, but I’m into all sorts); and 3) Cook for a crowd. I love being outdoors, so camping, hiking and swimming in the ice-cold sea also make me happy!
What is your favourite animal?
I love our cat, Kipper, but quokkas win here. They look like tiny kangaroos that always wear a little smile. I met a few in Western Australia a few years back and wanted to take them all home.
What was the worst job you’ve ever had?
Aged 14, a friend suggested we work together as chambermaids in a hotel in Llandudno so we could hang out while earning some pocket money (about £3.50ph). I lasted less than a day- the rooms were shocking!
Describe your perfect weekend?
Going away with my son and husband (anywhere, really), then returning to a professionally cleaned house with all the laundry done and put away 😂 Hasn’t happened yet, but I’m still hopeful this dream might come true.
What is your favourite film?
I always thought it was ‘Into the Wild’ because the cinematography is so gorgeous it gives me serious wanderlust. But, now you’ve made me think about it… the film that has everything for me is ‘Cast Away’ with Tom Hanks. It makes me grateful for things we take for granted, like running water, turning on the lights, food, and sanitation! And company. Plus, it was filmed in Fiji, my mother’s homeland.
If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Probably my mum’s curry and rice. I’ve watched her make it so many times but can never replicate it. As a student, I worked in an Indian restaurant for a while, and they’d give me whichever curry I fancied to take home. I ended up eating curry for breakfast, lunch and dinner some days and never really tired of it!
If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?
A portable desalination device, a fishing rod, and a crank- and solar-powered radio that doubles up as a torch and USB charger (I bought one before the first lockdown, thinking we were going to have major power outages and I’d need to find out where the ‘safe zone’ was!). I’d be happy to be stuck on an island for a while. Perhaps I’ve watched too much of The Walking Dead, Cast Away and Bear Grylls…
We are confident that Jess is a brilliant addition to the transplant team and the company as a whole. Welcome to the team, Jess!