We recently welcomed Denise Cahill to the Bidvest Noonan team. Denise is a GMP Microbiologist and is working with our team in the Life Sciences sector. We asked Denise what attracted her to a science-based career, why high-standard GMP practices are important, and what expertise and passions she will bring to her role at Bidvest Noonan.
What led you to a science-based career?
I always enjoyed Life Sciences growing up, but it was only later in my life that I gained the confidence to take it up as a field of study, so I made a decision to return to education as a mature student to pursue my ambitions.
In my studies, I decided to specialise in microbiology. It resonated with me because it is relevant to all areas of life. I find it fascinating how microorganisms, that cannot be seen with the naked eye, can benefit health, and in other cases, pose a threat. This is why contamination control within our GMP areas is crucial.
What I also love about microbiology is how it has enabled technological advancement in the life sciences sector, and indeed healthcare. For example, the use of genetically engineered bacteria to produce medicines, such as insulin. The development of such important medicines can only take place in sterile environments, emphasising the importance of GMP cleaning teams and the specialised training that is required.
Why are high-standard GMP practices so important?
Adhering to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) is a crucial step in ensuring the safety, efficacy, and quality of drugs, medical devices, and certain food products. These regulatory standards state that manufacturers, processors, and packagers must take the necessary measures to guarantee that their products meet rigorous safety and quality standards. GMP compliance is vital for protecting public health and ensuring that consumers receive the highest quality products.
Our cleaning teams play such a critical part in this for our customers in this sector. A lot of the products produced in the facilities we are responsible for, develop lifesaving drugs for vulnerable patients. Our GMP teams are committed to providing the highest standards, which in turn safeguards the health of people all over the world.
What part of your role at Bidvest Noonan will help ensure these standards are met?
My main role as a GMP Microbiologist is to provide guidance and support to ensure the services we provide adhere to industry standards. I develop and organise specific training for our teams in areas such as contamination control, good documentation practices, and other areas to ensure our colleagues have a good understanding of their roles and why these procedures and practices are so important. Much of this includes, for example, the setup of procedures, documentation, validation, personnel, and the layout of the facilities. I also try to find ways to innovate on these practices. Everything is designed to ensure efficiency and risk mitigation.
Part of my role also involves visiting sites across the country. I work with teams on different customer sites, sharing my expertise and offering support where required. This means I have a very varied role and every day is a learning day. I very much enjoy working together with our customers, establishing tailored solutions in line with their own processes. This is something that makes my role exciting and keeps me on my toes!
How does your passion for GMP and microbiology inform and enhance your role?
I have always had a genuine interest in microbiology and GMP. I like the structure GMP delivers. Getting stuck into a problem and helping develop the solution is something I am passionate about. I like that issues can be assessed methodically, which suits my nature, and it’s usually a collaborative effort, which I believe is the best way to find the solution to any problem. I find it a rewarding experience contributing to problem-solving by sharing my expertise, it gives me a sense of being part of something bigger and contributing towards a broader, common goal.