Member profiles

Our latest profiles explore the working lives of medical microbiologist Jomel Vasquez; John Millward, Head of Inspections and Enforcement at the Veterinary Medicines Directorate; and Jean Wilson, recipient of the RSB's President's Medal

December 11th 2023



Jomel B Vasquez CBiol MRSB is an associate professor of medical laboratory science, clinical coordinator and vice-dean of the College of Medical Laboratory Science at De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute, Philippines

RESIZE New JV biger

My alarm goes off…

At 5:30am. I start my day with a healthy breakfast, do some stretching, read some motivational thoughts and watch the news. Then I drive to work at De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute, in Dasmariñas, Cavite, Philippines. 

My work involves…

Two main strands. I teach subjects such as medical and diagnostic microbiology, clinical parasitology, haematology, clinical chemistry and toxicology, and more.  

I’m also vice-dean of the College of Medical Laboratory Science and clinical internship coordinator. As vice-dean I’m in charge of curriculum development and budget proposals. I also monitor and supervise students, and try to find solutions to any issues they may be having. As clinical coordinator I am in charge of fourth-year students’ hospital assignments. I conduct regular visits to the hospitals where our students undertake their training to see how they’re getting on.  

On a typical day…

I check my emails for upcoming meetings, as I’m a member of a few different committees. Then I begin my lecture or laboratory teaching. I am always motivated to give lectures to students on why it’s important to perform various laboratory diagnostic tests with accuracy, and how it affects the diagnosis, treatment and management of patients. I am passionate about teaching practical skills, such as patient communication, proper phlebotomy and specimen preservation. Lastly, I conduct hospital visits.

I am also…

A member of the founding committee of the RSB’s Southeast Asia branch and am the treasurer. I am an active member of many other professional organisations, such as the Philippine Association of Medical Technologists and the American Society for Clinical Pathology. I’m also a certified medical laboratory scientist in the US.

After work…

I usually go to a shopping mall or a park. Sometimes I check my students’ quizzes, assignments and projects. On long weekends I usually travel locally or internationally, as I love exploring various places, trying different food and practising photography.



John Millward OBE MRSB on his journey from ‘feral’ child to parachuting medicine inspector 

RESIZE John Millward 1

I first discovered biology…

Growing up in the 1960s. I had a fairly feral childhood playing on my father’s pig farm in Wales. He also kept a small flock of geese, chickens and ducks, and helping him sparked my interest in biology.

I studied…

Animal science at what was the University of Nottingham Faculty of Agricultural Science. I specialised in animal physiology, nutrition and production. I would have liked to have been a vet but didn’t study hard enough for my A levels.

A pivotal point in my career was…

My first job as a pig specialist with a national animal feed manufacturer after graduating. Six years later I moved into a regulatory role, joining the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain as an inspector in its Animal Medicines Division (AMD). I became head of the AMD 10 years later and was in that post when the team transferred into the Veterinary Medicines Directorate in 2006. I’m still there 17 years later.

The best thing about my job is…

I’m fortunate to enjoy every aspect of my role. My job involves leading an inspections team that authorises and inspects manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of veterinary medicines; and an enforcement team that deals with breaches of our Veterinary Medicines Regulations. 

The worst thing about my job is…

Unfortunately, there are occasions when someone repeatedly ignores regulations or commits a serious breach, such as illegally importing unauthorised medicines, and we have to take enforcement action, which may include seizing products and prosecution.

This is an interesting area to work because…

I work with a great bunch of colleagues dedicated to ensuring the health and wellbeing of the UK’s pets and livestock. I particularly enjoy getting out of the office and meeting farmers, feed manufacturers, vets and agricultural merchants.

A key piece of advice would be…

My mantra: ‘The key to learning is understanding’. To truly learn a subject it’s essential to thoroughly understand it. If I don’t understand an issue, I research it until I’ve really grasped it; it’s been invaluable in my regulatory role.

Something few of my colleagues will know about me is…

Growing up I thought about joining the army but lacked the confidence to go for it against wider expectations of me to go to university. So at the age of 30 I joined the Territorial Army, learned to parachute and earned my wings.



Jean Wilson MBE FRSB is a recipient of the RSB’s President’s Medal and is a committee member of the North Western branch

RESIZE Jean Wilson My RSB and Me

The Society has been a vital part of my life for more than four decades. Initially it was a chance to associate with like-minded souls, having relinquished a teaching career for motherhood. I embraced the activities of the North Western branch and was invited on to the committee in the early 1990s, later representing the branch as vice-chair and chair.

The branch has successfully presented the Schools’ Quiz for over 20 years and instigated the triennial Wyre Estuary BioBlitz.

The RSB has enabled me to meet and listen to many eminent and amazing biologists, and in 2009 I was invited to celebrate Charles Darwin’s 200th anniversary in Oxford. 

On my return to teaching I was invited on to the board of the Journal of Biological Education (JBE). I now represent the North Western branch at meetings of the Commonwealth Association of Science, Technology and Mathematics Educators.

Over the years I have been awarded an MBE for services to biology, the RSB President’s Medal for Meritorious Service, and a long service award from the JBE. The RSB has provided me with fabulous opportunities and the very best of friendships.


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