Mental health & education - IBMSPod Ep.11

Mental health & education - IBMSPod Ep.11
14 September 2021
As Covid restrictions are lifted and services return to normal, we revisited the issue of workplace pressure, mental health and wellbeing across healthcare laboratories.

In September's episode, IBMS fellow and Specialist Scientific Lead in clinical chemistry Azuma Kalu joined us. The pandemic has increased the burden on pathology services to the detriment of some of our member's mental health and wellbeing, inspiring Azuma to take the lead in highlighting the topic across the profession.

Azuma discussed how the pandemic has changed the nature of the workplace and reminds us of the issues biomedical scientists, healthcare and support staff have faced during the pandemic. He then talked us through the progress we've made in recent months to improve our members' mental health and overall quality of working lives. In doing so, he emphasised the benefits senior staff will reap when returning to the workplace for both them and more junior team members.

Azuma also talks to us about how his PhD in cancer genomics could lead to a test for the recurrence of prostate cancer for those in remission.

This month's LabLife explores the issues Biomedical Science students have faced throughout the pandemic. Special guest host Martin Khechara interviews IBMS eStudent Steven Schnabel. He's been on placement in an NHS laboratory throughout the pandemic while also conducting public engagement on behalf of the profession. He takes us through his personal experience and the challenges students have faced and provides some tips to students returning to campus and face-to-face learning in the new academic year.

Martin Khechara is an IBMS fellow and senior lecturer in Microbiology at Wolverhampton University and associate professor for public engagement. He recently completed the British Media Associations's media placement with the Naked Scientists podcast.

How to listen

To listen to any of our podcasts, series 1 and 2, as well as subscribe to future episodes, visit:

Episode outline

0:33 – IBMS News

1:55 – Feature Interview with Azuma Kalu

1:55 - Part 1: Cancer genomics PhD research   – introduction to Azuma's work in Clinical Chemistry and PhD project which explores how spotting changes in Long Non-Coding RNAs (lncRNAs) could be the key in spotting the remission of prostate cancer early .

17:40 – Part 2: Mental health, wellbeing in the workplace post-covid - discussion of issues biomedical scientists are likely to face as they adjust to a new post-covid normal in the lab. 

29:15 – Quick-fire round

31:51 - LabLife with Steven Schnabel & Co-host Dr Martin Khechara 

Links to further resources

IBMS News:

Azuma Kalu:

LabLife with Steven Schnabel & Martin Khechara 

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