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RTP Histology: What Changes and What Stays the Same

Chris, RTP Histology Supervisor

Getting to come into work every day and never living the same day twice is only one of the things I love about working at Foundation Medicine. The constant innovation and evolution of this company ensures that there is no standard, static blueprint for any given day.  

 

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How I Got Here

After my previous experience as a histology lab manager at a university and working with a travelling medical staffing company, I was drawn to Foundation Medicine because I was excited about the idea of joining such a fast-growing company. I thrive off innovation, and I felt that Foundation Medicine would be a great place to utilize my skill set and develop my career path. Initially, I was working on a temporary basis, but I ended up staying on long term and rising up through the team in roles including Histotechnologist III, Systems Specialist and now, my current role, Histology Supervisor at our Research Triangle Park (RTP) location.  

Like I mentioned, a daily routine is hard to predict since every day is inherently different. But my general job is to oversee all operations in the Histology department and to support the associated technology and laboratory processes. Most importantly, I help ensure that the patient samples we deliver for testing are of the highest quality.  

 

Jack of Lots of Trades

Collaboration is a constant thread throughout my job. Because of my role as a Histology Supervisor, I work with colleagues across departments to ensure we’re working efficiently and strategically. Meetings about forecasting and hiring are also important. Although my strengths lie in Histology, I’ve learned about many other areas outside of that field that ultimately help me thrive in my role. Getting to learn about all the work that the amazing employees do here only pushes me to be better and to expand my knowledge. 

One of my favorite projects I’ve worked on is improving work-life balance within the Histology and Pathology departments. Our goal was to figure out ways to be more efficient with our workflow so that we can deliver the highest quality patient samples, while also prioritizing our personal wellbeing. It had been an ongoing initiative for quite some time, and it’s been rewarding to see the positive effects it has on our employees. 

 

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Grounding Ourselves

At the core, one of the best parts of working at Foundation Medicine is the people. It sounds cliché, but it’s true. Everyone is so incredibly driven and is dedicated to their work. Due to the dynamic environment at the company, we’re all openminded and curious, eager to find solutions, and excited to push beyond what we already know.  
The constant innovation of this team amazes me. The diversity in backgrounds, knowledge, and perspectives is an extremely beneficial asset to have, not only because it invigorates group brainstorming sessions, but also because it grounds us and reminds us of the big picture.  

Every day, when I look at a patient sample and know there is a patient with hopes and dreams, it brings me back to my personal experience of members of my extended family who have been affected by cancer. Truly understanding the importance of time when getting genomic insights to the ordering physician and recognizing that there is a patient story attached to every sample makes our work so much more impactful. It gives our work important perspective. 

 

Ramping Up for the Future 

It’s an extremely exciting time to be working at Foundation Medicine. The expansive growth of the RTP site in terms of both space and sample volume are a few of the major developments happening right now. With the dynamic mindset already ingrained in our culture, these new developments only add onto our important work and drive our passion. I’m looking forward to seeing all the amazing things we will accomplish.  

 

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