Meet Ioanna Tzani, Senior Research Scientist with NIBRT

"I am constantly inspired by the positive impact science has on our everyday lives both directly (e.g. tackling a pandemic) and indirectly (e.g. cumulative discoveries that have led to increased life expectancy and better healthcare). The potential to make meaningful contributions to society through my work is a strong motivating factor."

Interview with Ioanna

Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in research/science?

I studied science driven by my curiosity about the natural world. During my studies I had the opportunity to work in clinical and research labs and I was exposed to the daily activities of scientists, their impact on healthcare and the excitement of discovery. I am constantly inspired by the positive impact science has on our everyday lives both directly (e.g. tackling a pandemic) and indirectly (e.g. cumulative discoveries that have led to increased life expectancy and better healthcare). The potential to make meaningful contributions to society through my work is a strong motivating factor. 

What advice would you give to young people looking to pursue a career in science? 

Careers in science can be incredibly rewarding and multifaceted, appealing to people with diverse talents, lifestyles and aspirations. Pursuing higher education on STEM subjects, gaining practical experience in science projects, prioritizing interdisciplinary learning, developing analytical and critical thinking, networking and developing strong communication skills are main pillars of a successful career in science.   

Can you tell us about your career before joining NIBRT?

I studied biology and during these studies I had the opportunity to work in clinical laboratories and in research projects. These experiences kindled my interest in research and made me want to pursue a PhD. During my PhD studies in cancer biology I applied -omics techniques to study the regulation of protein synthesis initiation.

Why did you decide to take a role with NIBRT? 

I joined NIBRT as a postdoctoral scientist in Dr Colin Clarke’s systems biology group. The interdisciplinary work conducted in the group aimed to gain valuable insights and answer fundamental questions in Chinese hamster ovary cell biology. 

My role then was to apply omics methods to study protein synthesis in Chinese Hamster Ovary cells, which are the workhorse for therapeutic protein production. Joining Dr Clarke’s group was an excellent opportunity for me to use the skills I had acquired during my studies, while working alongside an international team of scientists in the field of biopharmaceuticals’ research. 

What does your current role entail? 

I currently work as a Senior Scientist in Dr Colin Clarke’s systems biology group. My main role is to plan, design and conduct a range of molecular biology methods to better characterize CHO cell biology in bioprocessing relevant conditions.  As part of my job I train research scientists in lab methods and I am involved in scientific communication both written and oral.

Can you tell us about your career progression with NIBRT? 

Over the years my technical expertise has significantly expanded both through direct application of novel technologies, but also by working in collaborative multidisciplinary projects and learning from my colleagues.  Over the years I have gained more responsibility and my input in project design has increased. 

What skills have you developed since joining the research team in NIBRT?

Since joining NIBRT’s research team and Dr Clarke’s group I have had multiple opportunities to expand my research skills, by learning and applying cutting edge techniques and through working in collaborative projects with internal and external partners. 

What has been your highlight working with NIBRT? 

  • Lead author on the first study to apply single cell ‘omics on a CHO cell line. Published in the prestigious Biotechnology and Bioengineering Journal
  • Played a leading role in the discovery that microproteins are a new class of impurity in monoclonal antibody drug products 

In your opinion, what is the unique opportunity NIBRT offers to candidates? 

In my opinion NIBRT offers a unique opportunity for candidates to grow and thrive in a scientific career at the interface of academia and industry. NIBRT offers state-of-the-art facilities allowing scientists to conduct ground-breaking experiments and stay at the forefront of biopharmaceuticals’ innovation. NIBRT fosters collaborative projects which allow experts from various fields to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. NIBRT researchers have the unparalleled opportunity to work on interdisciplinary projects with international teams of industrial and academic partners and present  their work at international conferences. NIBRT offers candidates a unique opportunity to be part of a leading research institution that values innovation, collaboration, and real-world impact through research on life changing therapies. 

What advice would you give to someone thinking about joining the research team at NIBRT?

For anyone thinking about joining the research team at NIBRT I would advise them to familiarize themselves with NIBRT’s research areas, assess how their expertise and interests align with NIBRT’s research and mission and consider how they can contribute and grow professionally within the role. 

Joining the research team at NIBRT presents a unique opportunity to contribute to cutting-edge biopharmaceuticals’ research, collaborate with top scientists, and make a meaningful impact on the thriving and ever growing field of biological therapies. 

By understanding the organization’s mission, assessing opportunities for growth and collaboration, and maintaining a positive mindset, one can embark on a rewarding and successful research career at NIBRT. 

About NIBRT

NIBRT’s mission is to help the growth and development of the biopharma manufacturing industry by providing cutting edge training and research solutions.

The Institute is based on an innovative collaboration between Industry, Government and Academia and opened its world class facility in 2011 in Dublin, Ireland.

The facility was primarily funded by the Government of Ireland through Ireland's inward investment promotion agency, IDA Ireland (Industrial Development Agency), which is responsible for the attraction and development of foreign investment in Ireland.

NIBRT offers a training and research experience not previously possible anywhere in the world.

More about NIBRT

Interested in working with NIBRT? Please contact us to discuss current and upcoming positions.

Talent Consultant
We value your privacy

By selecting “Accept all”, you give your consent to our use of cookies. These cookies and data are essential for the smooth functioning of our website. For detailed information about the cookies we use, their purposes, and our partners, please click “Manage cookies”. Here, you can also customize your preferences, and modify or withdraw your consent at any time. Learn more