Meet Amarjit Bhomra, who has been Professor Matthew Wood’s Lab Manager for 5 years. She manages a large 36-strong group of researchers and graduate students. The Wood Group research focuses on RNA biology and RNA therapeutics for rare neuromuscular diseases, and the effective delivery of these therapies.
What is your role like?
Primarily, I'm here to facilitate the research, so I help with all the operational aspects of the lab, such as ordering, storage of items and organising visitors. There are a lot of different things going on, so I have a hand in lots of different pots! Right now, my biggest role is planning the lab’s move to the IDRM building later this year.
What do you enjoy most about this work?
It’s a great group to work in – international, diverse and a really good atmosphere. The main reason it works well is because we have mutual respect for each other. Everyone brings different things to the table and no one person’s work is considered more important than another’s. It’s also not a traditional lab – Matthew has senior researchers who run different teams within the lab and have more control over each project. He gives us the freedom to make sure things are running on the ground level because he has a good team he can rely on to get the job done.
What are you looking forward to about the move to IDRM?
It’ll be very positive to move into a building that’s purpose built for the lab with all the specialist facilities. We’re used to going between buildings for these, so this will be an absolute bonus. It also has big windows and nice open spaces, on a lovely open campus, which will be good for wellbeing. I’m enjoying planning the move because we’ve had to do quite a brutal lab clean to fit the new space - it’ll be great for me to have less archive to manage! It also allowed me to rethink some lab processes and take the opportunity to implement new ones. Finally, I live in Headington, so it’s really great for me!
What do you do if you are not in the lab?
Alongside my main role, I’m also a Harassment Advisor on the Department of Paediatrics’ Professional Support Staff Committee. I like to do my bit for the bigger working community. When I’m not working, I always like to start off this time of year in my garden doing my little seedlings. I also like to travel and see new places, although of course there has been less opportunity for that over the last two years! Keeping fit and healthy is important to me - I go to the gym and play squash. I’d love to get something interdepartmental going at the IDRM. When I used to work at the Sir Willian Dunn School of Pathology, they had a mixed doubles Badminton tournament at Iffley Road. Names were pulled out of a hat, so you didn’t know who your partner was going to be. It would be really nice to bring people together for a friendly competition to get to know each other.