Campus Stars: Animal Research

August 12th, 2020

The Campus Stars campaign has been launched to showcase the colleagues still working on campus during the lockdown and highlight the crucial work they do.

The Animal Research team, based at the Medical School and Sutton Bonington Campus, ensure the welfare and care of research animals.

During the pandemic, the team have ensured that essential animal research has continued including research focused on COVID-19. This has required a technical presence to be in place every day, including weekends and bank holidays.

To comply with new restrictions, the team have increased their use of PPE, including full air-flow helmets. They have also split into smaller groups working separate shifts to minimise the risk of cross-infection and increase the ability to work flexibly to cover all sites. Colleagues have quickly learned to utilise Microsoft Teams for video conferencing, enabling communication with each other and with the administrative team who are working from home. Those on site have undertaken research protocols in addition to the usual workload on behalf of research colleagues who could not attend site and Technicians have ensured that valuable colonies of genetically modified mice and zebra fish have been maintained. This varied workload has also meant that the team has been required to work longer hours at times, including through the night to successfully complete a 24-hour study.

The team are thankful for the messages of support received from the University, including the Vice-Chancellor. They also receive newsletters from the Institute of Animal Technology, sharing experiences of animal technicians across the UK.

The best thing about working at the University of Nottingham is the fantastic team effort. One of the newest members of the team says: “I have had amazing support from my colleagues and without their help and support during COVID-19 I would have struggled to keep up with my workload.”

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