Prior to working at Foundation Medicine, I worked as a pharmacy technician in both the retail and hospital setting. I enjoyed the work; however, I eventually decided to explore other career paths. I came across the Accessioning Technician position at Foundation Medicine and was immediately intrigued. I didn’t know much about genomics, but I was fascinated by the idea of personalized cancer care. I admired the mission to help patients through comprehensive genomic profiling, and I’m glad I was able to join the Accessioning team.
I started as an Accessioning Technician back in 2019 and have been fortunate enough to learn and grow into my current position as the Accessioning Team Lead. One thing I love about the Accessioning department is how much we get to interact and collaborate with other departments across Foundation Medicine. Every day we work with Histology, Molecular, Specimen Return, Lab Operations Assistants, and Client Services, among others. We all rely on each other to ensure that our daily objectives are met to achieve our mission of transforming cancer care. I get to work with some amazing people. I’m always in awe of how creative everyone is and the innovative ideas they develop to improve and streamline our processes.
The Accessioning team is the first point of contact for the patient samples that are received at Foundation Medicine. A typical day starts with the receipt and checking packages in our lab space, followed by the debulking process, which involves opening the packages, documenting quantity and sample type, and ensuring all necessary paperwork has been received. We then sort these samples based on both test selection and sample type to appropriately prioritize and proceed with entering all the information into our processing application. Once this is done, the samples are given a unique identification number to track their progress throughout the testing process. Attention to detail is extremely important to ensure that quality reports are delivered to oncologists, so that they can make informed decisions for their patients’ treatment. Our work is less technical in nature than further down in the testing process; however, it is essential to the delivery of high-quality results.
Since starting at Foundation Medicine, I have experienced a great deal of support from the leadership team at our RTP site. My supervisors and manager have always been encouraging and often ask what they can do to help me achieve my career goals. When the opportunity came about to become a team lead, I was hesitant because I knew it was a role that would put me outside of my comfort zone. My leaders reassured me that it was something I was capable of taking on and that it would be an excellent growth opportunity for me. I’m glad I listened to their advice, because I’ve grown and learned so much from this role. I haven’t finalized my long-term goals yet, but I know that this company will help me get there.