Women in Science – Q&A with Claire Scott

To mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we’ve asked some of our female scientists about their experiences studying and working in science. First up is our Sourcing and Ethics Manager, Claire Scott, who has been working with us for 2 years.

Q: What did you study?

A: I left school at 16 and went to college, I completed an NC Science Access course, followed by an HND in Biological Sciences then enrolled in a BSc Hons Human Anatomy and Physiology degree which I subsequently changed to BSc Hons Molecular Genetics. I then went on to study for my PhD in Molecular Pharmacology within a Cancer Research UK (CRUK) lab.

Q: What made you choose to study Molecular Genetics and Molecular Pharmacology?

A: I loved science in school, it was the only thing I looked forward to and I was good at it. I didn’t like the numbers involved in physics or chemistry so I picked Biological Sciences to only then be confronted with Biochemistry!

Q: Did you always want to be a scientist?

A: I initially wanted to be a hairdresser until I did it as a part-time job, then I wanted to be a Forensic Pathologist, but the Forensic Pathology degree course only started at my University the year I graduated.

Q: How has your career in science developed over the years? What was your first job and what is your job now?

A: My first job post-graduation was as a Post-doctoral Researcher, but the academic life didn’t suit me. I then went to work for a CRO as a Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetic (DMPK) Study Director, I loved this job. It was a great mix of bench-based science, data analysis, and report writing, unfortunately, I was made redundant after only 1 year. I went back into academia and did another post-doc before moving to the Scottish Borders to work for a small Pharmaceutical company as Medical Information Officer. This job was great, I got to work with the sales and marketing team putting together product launches and marketing material in line with regulatory guidance, travelled all over the UK training the sales team, and speaking with Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), and managing a team of Medical Information Professionals. The only thing this job lacked was clinical trial experience so I then went to work for the NHS as a Commercial Clinical Trial Coordinator. Now I work for Tissue Solutions as Sourcing and Ethics Manager. I am responsible for the company ethics and am the named Tissue Bank Manager, and I am responsible for sourcing the samples required by our network of scientific clients to perform their research.

Q: What would you say to girls and women considering a career or education in science?

A: If you love it, do it! I think anyone who loves science would struggle to do any job that didn’t involve science, you’re either a scientist at heart or not.

Q: Did anyone influence or inspire you to become a scientist?

A: My science teachers’ in high school, Biology teacher was great, and I loved her classes. My chemistry teacher aimed his lessons at my male classmates using football formations as examples and didn’t have much time for the girls in the class. As a result, I tried extra hard and smashed my chemistry exams!

Q: How have you helped towards the research and fight against COVID-19? 

A: Much of the work I currently do is related to COVID-19. I help find ethically sourced COVID-19 samples for our clients who are researching and developing new treatments, vaccines, and diagnostics. This involves understanding their requirements and working with our network to find suitable samples to help progress our client’s research.


Donate samples

Register for our donor database and donate samples.