'...the experts in different areas gave plenty of presentations about the latest technologies and methodologies in the course and I had opportunities to discuss with them to get more details'
Zhongrui Li, MSc Toxicology
Graduate profile, MSc Toxicology
When I got my Masters Degree in Toxicology in December 2008, the hot topic was the financial crisis at that time and I was worried about my future. However, I was very lucky and I got a job offer from Intertek Shanghai in 2009. So I went back to China and worked as a Data Management Engineer with responsibility for toxicology data collection, evaluation and justification.
One year later, I was promoted to Chemical Registration Consultant and Human Health Team leader. Writing and evaluating testing proposals, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and internal testing reports, dealing with dossier preparation and Chemical Safety Reports under REACH are my main job. Moreover, I am responsible for animal welfare SOP designing and daily checking as a Vice-chairman of The Animal Care and Use Committee.
The toxicology course at the University of Birmingham provided an amazing training which focused on different aspects of toxicology. More important to me, the experts in different areas gave plenty of presentations about the latest technologies and methodologies in the course and I had opportunities to discuss with them to get more details.
The course also organised several trips and practices to Huntingdon Life Sciences, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and Sequani during Toxicology study period. These trips provided opportunities for me to experience the biggest pharmaceutical companies and advanced laboratories.
The University encourages you to do many presentations and posters to introduce your research projects. Through this I developed communication skills and that is really important in my work when I have to discuss with internal technicians and external experts such as P&G and European Chemical Agency. I also learned the research and lab skills during my dissertation and testing training and this experience helped me to understand the international testing guidelines when writing and modifying the SOPs.
The Edgbaston Campus is one of the most beautiful campuses I have seen. It is far away from crowd and noise, the school library is also a nice place to study and I found a lot of reference books and journals there. I miss the days when I rambled along the paths by the buildings, lay down on the grass in a sunny day with my friends, I felt peaceful, happy and comfortable. The train station is located in the campus and is very convenient for going to town and other cities such as London.
I had never been abroad before I went to the city of Birmingham, but people there are very kind and friendly. They gave me lots of help and I acclimatized myself to the new environment very soon. After several short strolls in the city, I found a Chinatown located in city centre near the train station. So I went to Chinese supermarket and restaurants from time to time.
You will get not only science knowledge and skills but also lots of friends and fun here.
Well, I am now a member of British Toxicology Society now and I wish one day I can be a European registered toxicologist, which is a milestone for my career.