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IBMS member is honoured

IBMS member Jeanie Martin is a biomedical scientist in the histocompatibility and immunogenetics laboratory at Belfast City Hospital. 

Jen Johnson

In December, she was awarded an MBE by Prince William the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace, for the Queen’s 2018 Birthday Honours.

Jeanie began work in 1964 as a Scientific Assistant in veterinary research.

She gained a solid knowledge of all biomedical science disciplines before moving to Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service to specialise in haematology and blood transfusion.

She began working in tissue typing in 1976 and is proud to have been involved in lab work providing a 24-7 service from 1977 until 2002.

Most of this time was during the Troubles conflict in Northern Ireland.

Jeanie said: “I can appreciate that in Northern Ireland in the 1970s and 80s, people were coming to work through roadblocks, and bomb scares were common.

“These problems lasted for quite a few years, but people carried on and went to work as usual, especially NHS staff. Patients need our help, and that’s what you remember each day.”

Jeanie became a lab manager in 1989. After a brief retirement in 2011, aged 65, she returned to work initially in a temporary capacity but then as interim Clinical Lead of the laboratory, where her expert knowledge of tissue typing has been essential. A new head has been appointed and Jeanie will be leaving laboratory work in 2019 after 54 years.

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