University of Brighton Alumni Association

Picture of Bamidele

Award-winning and trailblazing Biomedical Scientist

Meet Bamidele Farinre, a biomedical science graduate who has risen impressively to the top of her profession, including a “Biomedical Scientist of the Year” Award.

The Brighton Effect is that ripple of energy that starts during your time with us at Brighton, which you take with you for the rest of your life and career. There is no greater example than Bamidele, whose passion for science only grew during her time at the University of Brighton and has now gone on to the top of her field with multiple award-nominations and accolades and contributing pioneering work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to being the deputy chair of the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) Virology Specialist Advisory Panel group, an Honorary Fellow of the UK Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS) and inspiring the next generation of scientists through a variety of mediums – Bamidele has received an impressive amount of industry recognition.

These accolades include Advancing Healthcare Awards 2022 “Biomedical Scientist of the Year” Award, nominated for the Heroes Women Role Model Lists 2023 and being recognised as a trailblazer being one of the top advocates for biomedical science by the Pathologist magazine in 2019.

We caught up with her to find out more about her work and how her time and positive learning environment at Brighton shaped her career path – along with a bit of healthy competition amongst her peers.

Exploring a passion for science at Brighton

“I started my journey at Brighton Metropolitan College (formerly Brighton City and Hove City College), where I studied for my HND Applied Biology before transitioning to my undergraduate studies in Biomedical Science at the University of Brighton.

“Brighton was where I was nurtured and acquired the prerequisite knowledge and skills required to succeed in a Biomedical science career. I thoroughly enjoyed lectures and experiments which were delivered using a variety of tools and methods. The lecturers made learning fun for us. Accessible library, student support, pastoral care all contributed positively to my experience.

“I had a very supportive groups of friends whom I studied with, and we were always competing on who will get the highest grades in our tests and assignments, that was a motivation for me to study harder!”

Positive memories at the University of Brighton

“I had the time of my life at Brighton as a young, vibrant, studious individual, ready for the adventure of university life. The night life at Brighton, the city, pier, beach and surrounding sight-seeing made the experience enjoyable and unforgettable.

“I particularly enjoyed carrying out my last year BSc project with Professor Huw Taylor and Professor James Ebdon. They supported me in developing my laboratory, analytical and research skills, which helped greatly during my job interviews.

“I also fondly remember my lecturer, Dr Sarah Pitt, who has been part of my professional journey as a specialist scientist through her work with the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS), as my Specialist Portfolio examiner.”

Her trailblazing work during the COVID-19 Pandemic

“I have achieved a lot since graduating, from a young adult who finished Uni without having much direction of the career path ahead of her, to a senior leader in her chosen profession of biomedical science. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, I led the UK Mobile Processing Unit Vans project (MPUV) as the Scientific Lead for the Department of Health and Social Care, mobilising and delivering 14 fully validated MPUVs for rapid COVID-19 response.

“At the end of the project, I had successfully trained and prepared a scientific workforce of over 130 staff to deploy with the MPUVs when they went to areas of COVID-19 outbreak, and in support of other additional testing capabilities to control infections through thoughtful and strategic leadership.

“I was recognised as a trailblazer being one of the top advocates for biomedical science by the Pathologist magazine in 2019. The feature recognized me as one of 100 of the leading innovators in pathology and laboratory medicine.”

Defining success

“To me success has many facets. Success, for me, will always be about making a difference in other people’s lives. I am a great advocate for positive change, inspiring and motivating others through giving back to the community and being a role model. Success to me is when your hard work and commitment is being recognised and amplified for greater reach, influence, and visibility.”

Wisdom for current students

“I would say be yourself, be bold, audacious and enjoy your time while making the best of all the opportunities, support, tools, and resources available to you. Don’t be discouraged even when things don’t work out as planned, see it as a steer in a different direction. Above all, believe in yourself.”

Industry recognition for achievements

“In 2022, I received the Advancing Healthcare Awards 2022 “Biomedical Scientist of the Year” Award; recognized as a ‘We Are the City Rising Stars’ winner in the Science & Engineering, STEM Trailblazer 2022. Additionally, I was a STEM Trailblazer finalist in the 2022 Baton awards, an award celebrating progress and recognises women from diverse racial groups in the UK who demonstrate outstanding achievements.

“In recognition of my leadership roles, I was elected as an Honorary Fellow of the UK Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS) in 2022 and I also the deputy chair of the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) Virology Specialist Advisory Panel group and also part of the planning/steering committee for the upcoming 2023 IBMS congress.

“This year I have won several awards including; Woman of the Future awards in the category of Mentor of the Year, Zenith Global Healthcare Awards in the category Equality, Diversity and Inclusive leader and Powerhouse Global Women Leaders award.”

Inspiring the next STEM generation

“In addition to being deputy chair, I am also an IBMS Continued Professional Development officer and mentor, HCPC Registration assessor, local school governor, Freedom to Speak Up Ambassador, WISE campaign role model for ‘My Skills My Life’, British Science Association (BSA) Crest award Assessor, and Inspiring the Future STEM Ambassador.

“I’ve authored many articles for my professional body and regularly feature on educational podcasts, educating the public about careers in Biomedical science and STEM. I was a speaker at IBMS Congress 2022 & 2015 in Birmingham, which is the biggest dedicated biomedical science conference and also one of the speakers for the 2022 Biomedical Scientist Live virtual event organised by the IBMS on the topic “thoughts on leadership”.

Words from her cherished lecturers

Dr Sarah Pitt, Principle Lecturer at the University of Brighton: “Bami was a very good student who started to develop the academic, practical and professional skills required to be a Biomedical Scientist during the degree programme.

“A few years after she left the University of Brighton, I met Bami again at the Virology department at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. I was the examiner for her Institute of Biomedical Science Specialist Diploma in Virology Assessment and I was pleased to be able to recommend that she passed.

“With this excellent start, Bami has taken on a variety of roles in clinical pathology laboratories, becoming an experienced and respected member of the Biomedical Science profession.

“We have continued to work together, as she joined me as a member of the Institute of Biomedical Science Virology Scientific Advisory Panel. In March 2023, we were both awarded the Honorary Fellowship of the Academy of Healthcare Science, during an event at the House of Lords.

“I look forward to seeing where Bami’s career takes her next and I am pleased to have played a small part in it!”

James Ebdon, Professor of Environmental Microbiology at the University of Brighton had this to say:

“Bami was the very first student I supervised, having just started a lecturing position at the University of Brighton and she certainly set the bar high for subsequent project students.

“Bami seemed most comfortable working within a laboratory setting and was very quick to grasp various methodological approaches and demonstrated that she was supremely well-suited to working as part of our lab team.

“In fact, Bami’s subsequent career has consolidated these skills and hopefully it was her positive laboratory experience with us which led her to go on to study clinical microbiology at master’s level.

“Her subsequent career achievements have been inspirational, and it has been great to see Bami go on to be recognised with so many accolades and career successes. Whilst it is always pleasing to see alumni forging successful careers in their chosen field, it is even more rewarding to see someone genuinely inspiring, empowering and supporting others in the way Bami has consistently done. I look forward to seeing where Bami’s career takes her next.”

Alumniawardaward winningawardsbiomedical sciencebrighton effectscienceSTEMUniversity of Brighton

Alex Petrovic • March 7, 2024

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