To provide a range of innovative tools for accelerating drug development, InnoSer brings people from both scientific and business backgrounds together. With our interview series ‘A day in the life of’, let’s take a glimpse into what it is like to be part of this small but versatile and dynamic team!
MSc Biomedical Sciences (clinical molecular sciences)
Study planning, statistical data analysis and reporting
With InnoSer since
Laura is a senior research associate for InnoSer’s unique model for polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Together with the study director nephrology, Viki Schroyen, her responsibilities include the planning and overseeing of the PKD projects. “At the beginning of each study, we start with a study protocol, which I use to set up the study planning. I make an outline for the daily tasks and discuss the planning with everyone on the PKD team.”
When Laura arrives at the office in Diepenbeek, she typically starts her day at her desk before entering the animal facility. She discusses requests from customers with Viki, which she can immediately implement on the same day. “Together with the animal caretakers, I check the health status of the mice daily. It is an advantage that I am so closely involved with the practical work of the PKD studies, as this facilitates follow up of the complete study.” Although not the main part of her work, Laura also contributes to testing samples as well.
What Laura enjoys the most at InnoSer is the teamwork. Much of the daily planning is done together with the whole team, and they also help each other out. “I really appreciate that we can discuss our approaches and ideas freely, learn from each other, and act together in all circumstances. For example, due to COVID-19 regulations, we had strict policies and were sometimes shorter in staff than expected. However, thanks to the whole PKD team and the close communication between us, we perfectly managed all studies even during those times”.
Laura at work in the in-vitro lab in Diepenbeek.
“People mostly tell that I am very organized and tidy. I see this mostly as a positive quality, but I know that I can sometimes be a little bit too meticulous about it and have to be flexible and adaptive in all circumstances.” Laura thinks these qualities make her a good match with the role of research associate. “When I learned InnoSer was growing and that a variety of new projects were coming in, I saw that as an opportunity to grow as well.”
These days, Laura is busy with the planning of a new study. “We discuss upfront with the customer which mice need to be included in the study and how many animals are needed to reach statistical significance.” InnoSer uses refined protocols both for providing optimal study results and to reduce the used resources.
It’s not all work and no play. Laura and the team usually take a break at 10am, and they also meet for lunch at around 1pm. “We have a WhatsApp group to check with each other before going on a break. We manage to keep the conversation light and casual; we don’t talk about work all the time.” Laura thinks that they are a great team and complement each other, which makes the teamwork all the more enjoyable. After work, they also occasionally grab a drink or have dinner together.
Before her day ends at InnoSer, it is Laura’s habit to go over upcoming plans and tasks. “I check that everything is in place for the next day so that everyone can plan their day independently. And well, that makes the end of my work day.”
After completing her biomedical sciences BSc and MSc studies at the University of Hasselt, Laura worked as a PhD candidate on cardiac atrial appendage stem cell transplantation as a new therapy to restore cardiac function after ischemic heart failure. She then worked as a lab technician at Beta Cell NV, a company that develops innovative long-term therapeutic solutions for patients with diabetes. In December 2019 she joined the InnoSer team.