Annabek Maclachlan currently works as a Associate Medical Publications Manager at Excerpta Medica and completed a PhD in Cardiovascular Sciences in 2020.
How has your career developed since graduating from the University of Birmingham?
I have only had one job since leaving the University of Birmingham but in this job I write, prepare, and review scientific publications (abstracts, oral presentations, posters, and manuscripts) for pharmaceutical companies. I work mainly on publications for early clinical trials in the haematology/oncology therapy areas which is very interesting.
How did your course help prepare you for your career?
The course gave me a strong scientific background, scientific writing and experience with peer review journals needed for a role in writing and managing scientific publications for high tier pieces of clinical research.
Why did you originally apply to do your chosen course at Birmingham?
I started on the undergraduate Biomedical Science course in 2012 and enjoyed the research aspect of the course a lot. Following the final year research project of my undergraduate degree, I went on to apply for PhD positions in the same lab I completed my research project. The University of Birmingham is a prestigious institution and is highly regarded as one of the best universities for research. All of the lecturers and supervisors are enthusiastic and supportive and I knew it was somewhere I would thrive.
What inspired you most during your time at Birmingham? For example, guest speakers, lecturers, research, friendships or extra-curricular activities.
The high calibre of research carried out in all groups in the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Birmingham is very inspiring. All the members of the groups are passionate about their work and good scientific practice. They are constantly publishing their work in high impact factor journals with great success and I was very glad to be part of this inspiring institute.
What advice would you give to current students studying on the course?
It can take a while to complete a PhD but if you are thinking of a specialist career it may be necessary to do one. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication but it is worth it in the end. It is also a great opportunity to learn about one area in a lot of detail.
What tips/ advice would you give to people who are considering studying your course at Birmingham?
Academic results are important but it is probably more important to be yourself and see where that takes you.
How would you advise people to make the most of their time on their course?
Make friends, ask lots of questions, ask for help, and start thesis writing as early as possible!