Struan Donachie is in his placement year with livestock diagnostics company Biotangents
Midlothian Science Zone talks with Struan Donachie, Research Scientist Grade 1
Struan Donachie is a fourth year Undergraduate Student at the University of Aberdeen, studying an Undergraduate Masters (Msci) in genetics and has completed courses in a variety of biological fields.
Hosted by Biotangents for his placement year, which started in August 2021, Struan will write a dissertation and undergo a viva based on the work undertaken.
What work does Biotangents do?
Biotangents is looking to create a point of care (PoC) test for BVD and Mastitis, using isothermal technology for rapid diagnostic testing. In 2021, during the pandemic the company won the Innovation Award at Animal Health Innovation Europe and have recently secured more funding to help grow the company.
What is your role and any career highlights so far?
I hold a temporary position (1-Year) as a Grade 1 Research Scientist, where my main responsibilities include, assisting and carrying out experiments, analyzing data and partaking in R&D discussions.
A highlight of my career so far has to be contributing to producing a diagnostic test for BVD in livestock. It's been really rewarding to see an idea come into fruition and go from concept to product and having had the opportunity to be a part of that project it taught me numerous transferable skills and has instilled in me the attributes necessary to find solutions and tackle large-scale projects.
What are you focused on at the moment and what are your future plans?
I’ve just begun writing my dissertation which is based on my participation in developing a diagnostic test for livestock, which is very interesting and is a new challenge for me.
I will be returning to Aberdeen at the start of September to begin my fifth and final year for which I’m looking forward to bringing the skills and knowledge I've learned at Biotangents in to an academic environment.
What are the benefits for you of working within a ‘park’ environment?
Innovation and collaboration. There’s so many different companies doing fantastic research that it is a great opportunity to surround yourself with like-minded people and learn from them.
The vast array of scientific backgrounds that colleagues and fellow science park residents have, allows you to network and discuss different areas of science, of which there are so many. We’ve just set up monthly socials with a company that works in the same building on Pentlands Science Park and I think that’ll be great to get to know them and learn about their research, share ours and meet new people.
The facilities and services are excellent and there's access to research expertise. There are often times when different companies have been more than willing to help share equipment and facilities which have been of great benefit to us and also potential for collaboration if the research lends itself to that.
What do you enjoy most about working in Midlothian?
For me, it’s a combination of a couple things; I like the fact that is close to home for me, I’m from East Lothian so the commute is not too bad but I mostly enjoy the scenery around Easter Bush, I think it’s a great environment to work in and is very different to working in central Edinburgh. The ‘Bush’ lends itself for going on walks or runs, working outside and a productive work ethic.
For further information, please contact:
Pentlands Science Park,
Midlothian, EH26 0PL
t: +44 (0)131 514 0871
Pentlands Science Park
- Bush Loan
- Midlothian, EH26 0PZ
Park Manager: Jill Gayford
T: +44 (0)131 445 5111
- Work in Midlothian
- Locate in Midlothian
- Opportunities in Midlothian
Enquiries: Project Team
Midlothian Science Zone
- Roslin Innovation Centre
- The University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush Campus
- Midlothian, EH25 9RG, Scotland
Enquiries: Project Team
T: +44 (0)131 651 9000