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What do laboratory technicians do?

Find out about technicians and research assistants working in a variety of fields around the country by reading and watching the profiles below. Our Biology Week in schools programme also includes lots of other inspiring resources. Some of the technicians have also produced videos to provide a greater insight into their work - select the image of Zoe, Ian or Raquel's to learn more.


Meena Anissi, Research Assistant

Meena is a research assistant at The Genome Analysis Centre. She prepares fragments of DNA for next generation sequencing, programmes liquid handling robots and develops DNA and RNA libraries.

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Gemma Cann

Gemma Cann, School Technician

Gemma is a science technician at Middlesbrough College. She supports the laboratory activities of staff and students by setting up materials for classes, assisting with practical demonstrations and cleaning equipment after use.

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Ian Hands-Portman pic

Ian Hands-Portman, University Technician

Ian is an imaging suite manager at the University of Warwick. He looks after a laboratory full of microscopes, ranging from bench top to electron and laser scanning microscopes. In his career he has looked at a wide variety of samples including a small piece of the planet Mars.

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Watch an interview with Ian in the lab

Elle mcMaster

Elle McMaster, Research Assistant

Elle is a research assistant at Frontier Science Scotland, which specialises in the management of clinical trials, particularly breast cancer-related trials. Elle regularly travels abroad to attend conferences about the latest developments in clinical trials.

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 shaun miller 2

Shaun Miller, Laboratory Technician

Shaun works as a general laboratory technician at the British Antarctic Survey. He works in science support, helping scientists to carry out experiments, maintaining facilities and caring for animals in the marine aquarium.

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Zoe Milne, Clinical Assistant

Zoe is a clinical assistant at Johnson and Johnson, where she supports the daily running of the clinic laboratory sites. She has had many opportunities to travel internationally to support clinical trials.

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Watch an interview with Zoe in the lab

animal tech

Matthew, Animal Technician

Matthew is a university research facility manager at Agenda Resource Management Ltd, and is responsible for the animal facility as well as research laboratories. He works closely with two technicians to ensure the care and welfare of the rats and mice within the facility.

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Gilli Thorp 2

Gilli Thorp, Plant Pathologist

Gilli is a plant pathologist at The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera), specialising in fungicide efficacy trials on pathogens such as Fusarium on wheat. She also researches the management and control of disease outbreaks such as Ash dieback.

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Raquel Yustos

Raquel Yustos, Research Technician

Raquel is a research technician at Imperial College London where she spends a lot of her time assisting PhD students and Postdocs. Raquel is responsible for the efficient running of the laboratory, and is required to maintain stocks and ensure equipment is used correctly and kept in good condition.

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Watch an interview with Raquel at the Society

Watch a video from the Institute of Animal Technology (IAT) featuring six animal technicians talking about the highs and lows of their jobs.