Celebrating 25 Years of Progress: Get to Know the Anatune Team
2021 sees Anatune celebrate our 25th anniversary. To help celebrate, we’ve sat down with members of our team to give you an insight into who they are, what they do, and how Anatune is looking to build on 25 Years of Progress. In this edition, we speak to our new Account Manager for the North of England and Scotland, Adel Abrar, to find out all about his analytical chemistry career to date, and discover how Anatune has achieved a quarter of a century in business.
Adel Abrar, Account Manager, North of England & Scotland.
Many thanks for your time, Adel, and welcome to Anatune! As a new member of the team, what are your principal responsibilities?
My core responsibilities will be attending to the interest from scientists to automate their sample preparation work, across Northern England and Scotland. This will start from discussing the technology and how it would function within their existing laboratory setup and assays, arranging for demonstrations as well as attending conferences to raise awareness for the benefits of automation within a laboratory.
What led you to a career in analytical chemistry?
After leaving my sixth form, I jumped into university to do a degree in Biochemstry at Queen Mary; science has always been an area of study I’ve been fascinated with in general, but even more so with the chemical interactions within say, a biological system.
After my degree, I was keen to begin my career in science, and was very pleased to get a job with Phenomenex soon after graduating. Working with Phenomenex was a very eye-opening experience and significantly broadened my knowledge of analytical chemistry, and perhaps, impressed upon me the importance of this branch of chemistry in our day-to-day lives. Fast forward eight years, and after looking at assays across multiple industries, I am still amazed and how often it is utilised to keep people and our world safe behind the scenes.
What have been the most significant industry changes since the start of your career?
I think over the years there’s been a greater focus on new and novel therapeutics, particularly in biopharma – somewhat unsurprising as we have reached a soft-ceiling of conventional drugs to help cure our ills. There is also the potential for fewer side effects with some biopharma solutions which would be a positive long-term, for our health.
Aside from that, there is perhaps more scope for regulatory divergence between the UK and EU, and if that does come to pass, there will be a need to cater for both regulations, assuming limited overlap.
What are your predictions for the future of analytical chemistry/GC,LC,MS over the next 5 – 10 years?
I feel automation will seep further into assays and will be more routinely used, and more processes will eventually be added to the automated process. There will be expansion in terms of sample collection and extraction as well, and of course, detectors such as mass-specs will become more and more sensitive, to keep up with the more testing and sensitive assays of the time.
Which three of the world’s biggest brands do you admire the most and why?
A tricky one – there’s pros and cons of each brand so it’s hard to pick; but one very well known brand is Tesla; I really like their push on the forefront when it comes to looking for greener methods of personal transport – it’s early days and there’s a lot of challenges to overcome still (particularly environmentally) but it’s a step in the right direction and can potentially inspire more ideas, from themselves and others, to reach the utopia of completely green travel.
I must also commend the more recent work from Pfizer, Moderna & AstraZeneca when it comes to the relative speed that they were able to get to work to come together and attempt to solve a crisis in the world. While there’s been bad press in the past, it is nonetheless important to give credit where it’s due in the number of lives saved from Covid as a result of the work of their scientists and their associated partners in the pharmaceutical sector.
A final brand I might add, which isn’t as well known perhaps; is Neoteryx. They’ve got a lovely new product for sampling blood in a safer and less intrusive way, with plenty of applications for sampling in remote areas of the world, and relatively easy transport of what would otherwise be a biological hazard. What I really like about their solution (called Mitra) is the simplicity and elegance of it. Highly recommend people check it out!
Which three people, dead or alive, would you invite to your fantasy dinner-party? And why?
I’d love to have David Attenborough, Stephen Hawking and Frankie Boyle in the same room together; nothing is more calming than David’s voice, Stephen Hawking’s mind is simply mind-blowing, and we could always do with a laugh during a dinner party, and Frankie would undoubtedly provide.
Which three hobbies or interests help you to relax when you’re away from the office/laboratory?
I’m fairly social; so you’ll often find me catching up with friends whilst exploring a new, quirky or otherwise unusual restaurant or bar. When the weather isn’t too cold; a nice walk in nature, or exploring a new city is always fun, and when I want down time, I tend to game on my Switch to unwind and zone out. Always good to have a hobby to relax from the rat-race of life sometimes!
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