- Science Technician, Researcher
- Place of Work
- Virionyx Corporation Limited
Lina’s current position as a Research Associate/Science Technician involves both experiments in the lab as well as recording results, analysing data, reporting findings, and sometimes troubleshooting.
Virionyx is a small, privately funded bio-pharmaceutical company and Lina is involved in research and designing drugs for HIV, SARS, and Anthrax treatments.
Every day is different and so work is never too boring...
As part of the team at Virionyx, Lina is involved in the long-term development of the drugs including seeing them through the rigorous clinical trials undertaken in the United States. These tests have three stages and take years to complete prior to the pharmaceuticals being available on the market.
Lina really enjoys the fact that her work has great potential to benefit people who suffer from HIV and the other infectious diseases. She also enjoys the challenge of learning new skills and gaining more experience in the field. She says: “Every day is different and so work is never too boring. The people I work with are also fantastic. We are a small group, which in my opinion makes it a lot easier to get to know other colleagues at a more personal level, making it a great environment to work in.”
To start her career in science, Lina did a Bachelor of Science (Technology) (BSc(Tech)) in Biological Sciences at the University of Waikato. Throughout her degree she took a series of both Biology and Chemistry papers which she thought would help keep her options open in both fields. A few subjects that she really enjoyed were Animal Physiology; Genetics; Biochemistry; and Environmental, Forensic, Toxicological and Medicinal Chemistry.
The BSc(Tech) degree is a 4 year degree, in which 3 years are theory-based and the other 1 year is split into two industry work placements (3 months and 9 months) which were most beneficial in gaining hands-on work experience. She says: “It was this work experience component which influenced my decision to choose this degree compared to that offered by other Universities.”
Lina’s first 3 month work placement was at Sensortec, based in Hamilton. They are a research and technology company with a product platform technology for on-line sensing of biological components in animal and human fluids.
Her second 9 month work placement was with AgResearch, Wallaceville in Wellington with the Animal Reproduction group lead by Dr. Kenneth McNatty. She comments: “This was a great learning experience for me; during this placement I learnt many new and practical skills that were very beneficial for my science career.”
Not long after graduating in early 2005, Lina landed her current position at Virionyx with the help of her University Placement Co-ordinator, Sue McCurdy.
Lina enjoys playing social sports: indoor netball, squash, and running, and likes to watch the odd good game of rugby and cricket (one-dayers).
She’s also really into all types of music: Drum & Bass, jazz, alternative, pop-rock, and going to gigs. In her spare time she likes to play guitar and just hang out with friends for drinks or movies.
Lina also loves art and photography, which are passions she has yet to explore further some day.
And travelling is also something she’d love to do more of one day—especially experiencing different cultures and meeting new people.
- 14 November 2007