60 seconds with Harriet Foden, CM-Path Programme Officer

Harriet Foden joined the NCRI as the new Programme Officer for the Cellular Molecular Pathology (CM-Path) initiative.





What will you be doing as the CM-Path Programme Officer?

The CM-Path programme was created to boost pathology research in the UK. Part of this is looking at cancer biobanks where human tissue is stored for research and disseminating best practices to them in order to ensure the high quality of tissue samples. The majority of my time is spent working on the creation of a self-evaluation tool for biobanks to help them identify areas where they can improve their processes in order to ensure high quality samples are available for cancer researchers. In order to do this I liaise with Biobanking experts including Professor Andy Hall, Dr Jane Hair, Professor Valeria Speirs, Dr Raffaella Tate and Professor Gareth Thomas who have been helping me to review existing self-evaluation tools and identify gaps which our tool can target.

Alongside my work on the Biobanking project I am also assisting the CM-Path Programme Manager to coordinate and facilitate the work of the other CM-Path workstreams, which can involve anything from minuting teleconferences to securing sponsorship for CM-Path workshops.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge?

From a personal perspective I think one of the biggest challenges will be learning the technical details involved in Biobanking. My university degree was in Economics and so pathology is very much uncharted territory for me but thankfully I have an excellent team to fall back on for their expertise.

From a project perspective I think the biggest challenge will be striking the balance between a thorough tool which provides valuable insights into Biobanking and ensuring the length and structure are accessible and not overly burdensome.

What are you looking forward to in your new role and how have you found your first month?

I am looking forward to developing my project management skills and gaining new knowledge in technical areas. I am also looking forward to seeing the Biobanking self-evaluation tool develop from a concept through to initiation and have high hopes for its potential impact. I have really enjoyed my first month which has been challenging and rewarding in equal measure.

How can CM-Path members get in touch with you?

CM-Path members can get in touch with me via my email address: harriet.foden@ncri.org.uk