Saturday, 28 October 2017

Last week was the end of an era.

In February 1999 a little company called Oxford Bio-Innovation rented a suite of rooms in the newly established Cherwell Innovation Centre, turning one of them into a lab with coldroom, wash up area etc. That was the first lab in CIC and I was part of the team that sorted out the conversion, furnishing and equipping before working for that business for nearly 10 years and 2 changes of ownership.

Since then I had my own business in the centre (in the Diagnox Lab, set up by Lisa Mynheer, previously operations director of OBI) between 2009 and 2015 before I took on managing Diagnox.

Building 77 has been 'home' for a long time, and in many ways I'm really sorry to go. The Diagnox job was a good place to be in the time of shutting down my business, when I was feeling a bit bruised and like a failure from the time helping lead Heyford Park Chapel. It was quite relaxing to just sort out the mundane stuff associated with daily running of a lab, just playing janitor, and occasionally advisor to some of the businesses there. I'll really miss the team too, people I was able to love & serve a bit: that's often so much NOT a part of work because of pressure that this was refreshing, and almost validating.

It was also slightly amusing that, in true Diagnox style, Wednesday was my last day at work, but Thursday night I went back in to top up liquid nitrogen levels in the storage vessels because the other lab person was on leave. Hope he sorts things out in the future with other tenant companies or a deputy so they don't thaw.


  1. Hi Toni - thought you might like to hear from another OBI'r - one who joined the team as a fresh faced graduate in July 2000. I didn't know it at the time. but I now type this after an uninterrupted 17 and a half years in the dignostics industry. I am now working as an account manager for a large Japanese diagnostics company, in a very sales focussed role, and I rarely enjoy it as much as I did in the "old" days with you and Kathy whacking out 96 well plates til our fingers hurt! You contributed a great deal to the success I have had in my career to date and with you finaly moving on from CIC it seemed a nice opportunity to thank you for teaching me so much in those early years. All the best to you Toni. From Jon Barker

  2. Jon, thank you so much - I feel very privileged to have been part of the lives of others that have gone on to do all sorts of exciting and challenging things. We had some good & some challenging times together, and as you say, making thousands of coated plates (nothing has changed there, and I have a blister tonight from capping high control samples for a new assay). Very best wishes to you and your family too.


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