We Are Randox | Ciaran Richardson
What makes Randox the successful, innovative and forward-thinking company it is today are the passionate, hard-working and talented staff we’re lucky enough to call our colleagues.
Our staff are our best asset and across every division our team help to save lives – whether it be designing the newest Biochip to test for Alzheimer’s disease, developing the latest software for use in hospitals and universities or managing our global offices, to ensure our pioneering health technologies make their way across the world to where they are needed the most.
Our headquarters are in Northern Ireland, but we have teams based all over the world, including in Donegal, Ireland, where Dr Ciaran Richardson heads up the Research and Development Team.
We sat down with Ciaran to ask him about his role in Randox, to find out what inspired him to become a scientist, and of course to discover what makes working in Randox Teoranta in Donegal so special.
Ciaran, can you tell us a little bit about your role at Randox Teoranta?
My name is Ciaran Richardson and I am the Research and Development Manager at the Randox Teoranta facility based in Dungloe in County Donegal. I have some operational responsibilities at the facility but I primarily focus on working closely with the Research and Development scientists here. They use unique Randox technologies to develop next-generation diagnostic tests for prevalent human diseases such as stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic kidney disease, gastrointestinal disorders and thyroid disease. What’s particularly interesting is that we don’t focus exclusively on human conditions. The team at Randox Teoranta is constantly evaluating new technologies and methodologies with a view to continuous evolving how we approach our work and we are currently developing veterinary diagnostic tests.
What kind of research takes place at Randox Teoranta?
More than 50% of the workforce in Dungloe are employed in Research and Development positions. Our teams of R&D scientists are using a world-first technology that is unique to Randox called Biochip Array Technology. This technology allows you to place multiple diagnostic tests on a single biochip and this can then be used to test for many different biomarkers in a sample of blood. This is in stark contrast to traditional diagnostic methods that perform one test at a time on a sample of blood.
But it’s not only scientific research that we undertake at Randox Teoranta. It is critically important that our hardware keeps pace with the new diagnostic tests that we are developing. We have a highly skilled team of R&D Engineers that are developing next generation diagnostic analyser systems for Randox. We have electronic, mechanical, embedded systems and software disciplines all working together to develop new analysers that enable effective and accurate reporting of results from our diagnostic tests.
We also have significant manufacturing capabilities at the site in Dungloe. We have a dedicated department for manufacture of the Randox biochips and a further department for manufacture of the Randox family of analyser systems.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I manage a broad spectrum of R&D projects so my days can be quite varied. I could be meeting with our different scientific teams or managing ongoing projects that we have with various collaborators throughout the world. R&D is a rewarding but challenging field and it is very important that we react quickly to problems as they arise. I therefore spend lots of my time meeting with the scientists to review data so that we can make strategic decisions to move things forward as efficiently as we can.
Did you always want to be a scientist?
The short answer is no. My father was a businessman and my mother was a teacher, but she said I didn’t have the patience to be a teacher. I must admit she was probably right! My passion for science came to the fore when I studied Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics at Pobalscoil Chloich Cheannfhaola in Falcarragh. I went on to study Biotechnology at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and then undertook my PhD studies in Cancer Research at the University of Wales College of Medicine in Cardiff. I then spent the next five and a half years working at the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit at the University of Dundee.
When our first daughter was born in Dundee we decided we wanted to move back to Donegal but my job prospects there, as a scientist, were slim. I did, however, apply for a role in Randox’s County Antrim headquarters which I was delighted to get. 18 months later, I was asked to become the R&D manager at a brand new Randox site in West Donegal. The rest, as they say, is history. Science can be a challenging career but it is extremely rewarding to think that the work we do at Randox Teoranta has the potential to not only improve people’s lives, but extend them far beyond expectancy.
What’s your favourite thing about working here?
My drive to work is surrounded by the most fantastic scenery. I feel privileged that I have been provided with an opportunity to return home to west Donegal to take up such a challenging and exciting position in the field of science just 20 minutes from my doorstep in Gweedore.
Working at Randox Teoranta allows me to spend more time with my family as I have such a short commute and I haven’t had to re-settle my family from our native Donegal for me to follow my career dreams. We have four children and a dog so you can imagine how busy things can be! When I get home in the evening I enjoy spending time with my wife and children. I work hard during the week and then the weekend is family time.
Can I find my dream career at Randox Teoranta?
We’re expanding our workforce which means there are plenty of opportunities at Randox Teoranta. From placement student roles to permanent positions, we’re always on the lookout for the right candidates in various different fields – from manufacturing to research and development, administration to mechanical, electrical and electronic design engineering and software development to administration. At Randox Teoranta, we’re involved in world-leading science and technology every day. It’s amazing to think that your dream role in global innovation could be right on your doorstep in beautiful Donegal.
We are delighted that Ciaran has found his dream job with us at Randox in his native Donegal. He is a real asset to our global healthcare company and we’re proud to have him as part of our team.
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For current vacancies in our team, visit careers.randox.com