Meet the Scientist

Paul Ashford

Executive Director at ICCBBA

What scientific field do you work in?

Healthcare Informatics related to transfusion and transplantation.

"... I get to travel all over the world!"

Could you briefly explain what your job involves?

I manage an international information standards organization that is working to achieve global standardization for the coding and labelling of medical products of human origin (blood, cell, tissues, organs etc).

Do you have any secret talents?

I used to play the English Concertina in a band but I am very out of practice.

When did you decide you wanted to work as a scientist?

As a child I wanted to be a doctor, but when I realised I was not going to achieve the academic qualifications I decided to work in science supporting healthcare.

What's your favourite food?

I like all types of food and have no favourites.  I have three things on my ‘foods I have eaten and do not want to try again list’: pig’s ears, jellyfish, and duck’s feet.

What educational pathway did you take to get to where you are now?

A levels (on second attempt) allowed me to get a job as a Junior Medical Laboratory Scientist.  Then HNC in Haematology and Transfusion; Special Examination in Blood Group Serology and Transfusion; Open University BA(Hons) in Mathematics; MSc in Computer Sciences.

"You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!"

What's your favourite movie quote?

“You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off.” 

-Michael Caine, The Italian Job.

"...pig's ears, jellyfish and duck's feet." 

What's the best thing about your job?

I really enjoy consensus building – bringing together groups of people with differing views and using the synergy to create a concordant solution.  I also enjoy the fact that I get to travel all over the world!

What's the worst thing about your job?

I lose a lot of weekends to travel, but working from home the rest of the time makes up for it.

If you could be anyone in the world for 24 hours, who would you be?

I’m too happy being me to want to miss 24 hours of my own life.

Have you taken part in any research? What was your most exciting project?

My job has mostly been applied science.  I still remember the excitement of getting my first publication in a peer reviewed journal in 1985.  It presented a novel way to differentiate between different types of anti-D antibody which is significant in haemolytic disease of the newborn.

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