INSIGHTS | 10/06/2024

Meet Ruth Campbell, our Lab Operations Manager

Ruth Campbell joined Campus back in August 2022 as Lab Operations Manager, read the interview below to learn about her inspiring career and role on Campus. 

What is your background in Science, where did it all begin?

I’ve always been driven by my independent nature; two weeks before my 21st birthday I completed my applied degree in biomedical science and started a full time job as a HCPC registered biomedical scientist. On my birthday my new boss cheerily said “21 again Ruth?”, her face was a picture when I explain I was in fact 21! We joked about this every birthday for the following 10 years in which I loved working in her veterinary diagnostic lab, at Dick White Referrals. This is where I enjoyed working in haematology, microbiology and eventually specialised in laboratory management, I must say diagnostics is a full on, non-stop sector yet hugely rewarding. I am very grateful for and owe a lot to my training in the NHS during my degree as well as the time spent working at the vet lab.

What is a day like in your life on Campus?

At Babraham I look after the communal scientific facilities and a large part of my role is about enabling companies to work in the communal lab in Moneta called Live Labs. My team also look after the BRC wash up rooms, freezer rooms and liquid nitrogen stores. The majority of my workload is the same as for my fellow lab managers on campus; health and safety, training, equipment maintenance, facilities management and people management!

What do you particularly enjoy about your role as Lab Operations Manager at Babraham Research Campus?

The unique aspect of this job is that I work with a variety of companies within Live Labs and occasionally across campus. The diversity is exciting, and I work within an amazing community. I’ll take this opportunity to say thank you to all the fab people I work alongside in Live Labs. I really do feel a sense of pride that I get to play a small part in enabling new biotech companies to start up and flourish.

What do you think is the most valuable advantage companies in Live Labs can make use of?

Babraham is a brilliant place for companies to be based. We’re lucky to work alongside the expertise and world leading scientific services at the Babraham Institute. Collaboration is encouraged on campus and I think a huge advantage for Live Labs companies is the networking opportunities.

If you decided to start up your own business, what would it be?

I like reading and tea so perhaps a café!

What would be your biggest advice to start-up companies?

I would never presume to be able to give advice to start-up companies, however there are some brilliant minds on campus and in Cambridge and I’ve seen first-hand that tapping into this community and asking for help has huge benefits. In lab management the temptation is to be reactive and implement quick fixes, but my many mistakes have taught me that taking time to step back, ask for help and good planning always pays off.