Meet Matthew Wakeman, Specialist Biomedical Scientist

Matthew in the lab stood by a machine Explain what your job entails?

Our aim is to produce images through microscopy for examination by a pathologist. We produce super thin - usually 4um – sections of tissue and stain them with dyes, chemical reactions that result in a coloured product and biological reactions to reveal aspects of the sample that can be viewed through a light microscope or if the sections are thin enough – 90nm ish – an electron microscope. We make it possible to actually look at what’s going on inside samples.

Why did you choose your career? 

Wasn’t a good enough artist. Science was always another interest and Histology was and is a pretty ‘hands on’ discipline. But mainly, there was a darkroom and I knew photography.

What do you love about your job? 

Electron microscopy. It never gets old. Magnifying pictures of cells thousands of times and essentially wandering around ultrastructural landscapes is just cool.

Let us know something that a lot of people don’t know about your job? 

There is still a lot of manual work involved – automation is here and has standardised a lot but we still manually turn a lot of handles during our days and dexterity is definitely needed when manipulating resin sections little larger than the point of a pencil.