Medical Device Expert Spotlight – Riwia Chetian

Medical Device Expert Spotlight

At Test Labs, our greatest asset is our team – their expertise, dedication, and passion drive everything we do. In this Expert Spotlight, we are excited to introduce Riwia, our talented Microbiologist, and explore the extensive knowledge and skills she brings to our organisation.

Riwia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Microbiology and a Master’s degree in Immunology from Imperial College London. Her MSc thesis, titled ‘Characterising the Role of MALT1 Paracaspase Activity in Psoriatic CARD14 Signalling,’ provided her with valuable experience in handling in-vitro assays, cell culturing techniques, and a wide array of analytical methodologies commonly used in industrial settings.

What do you do at Test Labs?  

At Test Labs, I work as a Laboratory Scientist, leading and assisting in various projects, including microbial and disinfectant efficacy testing, as well as our latest cell culture-based and in vitro assays. My background in medical microbiology and immunology allows me to deepen my expertise and contribute to research and development in these areas.

Where did your interest in science stem from?  

My interest in science stemmed from a very early age, inspired by my parents’ careers in scientific education. While they likely hoped I would follow a medical path like my sister, I found that I was more drawn to the ‘behind-the-scenes’ aspect of science which includes problem-solving and developing strategies for continuous progress in research.

Have you always wanted to be a Microbiologist?

I didn’t initially envision myself as a microbiologist. In fact, before studying it, I had no idea how broad the field was. My interest was sparked during my A-levels while studying infections and immune responses. This led me to pursue medical microbiology, where I became fascinated with microbiomes and immunology, igniting my passion for the field as I explored its many subcategories. This fascination further ignited my passion for immunology and the intricate pathways involved.

What would your advice be for someone thinking of becoming a Microbiologist?

My advice for someone considering a career as a Microbiologist would be to prioritise gaining hands-on experience, especially in a laboratory setting outside of university. This practical experience will greatly aid in transitioning from academic studies to applying microbiology in professional and commercial environments. It’s also important to remember that microbiology, like all fields in science, is an incredibly diverse industry. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t immediately reach your desired role. Every bit of experience is valuable and can shape your career path in unexpected ways. Stay open to new directions and opportunities that may arise along the way, they could lead to exciting and fulfilling paths within microbiology that you may have not known about prior.

What’s your top tip to manufacturers to keep them compliant?

My top tip for medical device manufacturers to ensure compliance is to stay vigilant about updates and changes in regulatory standards and requirements from notified bodies. It’s crucial to stay informed and proactive in implementing necessary adjustments to maintain compliance. If there’s any uncertainty, I strongly recommend starting those conversation with testing houses and medical device testing experts, early on. Addressing potential issues promptly can prevent complications and ensure smooth adherence to regulatory guidelines in the long term.

What do you love most about your job?

I love that my job offers continuous learning opportunities, whether through exploring evolving regulatory standards, setting up new protocols in the lab, or understanding a diverse range of medical devices. Before this role, I had only worked in a university lab on academic research. I am incredibly proud of my journey, particularly with the introduction of the cell culture lab, which I had the opportunity to help establish. It feels immensely rewarding to know that my work contributes not only to product and patient safety but also to my growth with each new challenge I tackle.

What do you get up to when you’re not testing and analysing medical devices?

You would most probably catch me on the weekend at home, hanging out with friends or family and indulging in some serious Netflix binge-watching. I’m pretty certain I’ve watched most, if not all, the reality TV they have to offer!, I’ve also got a serious soft spot for coming of age shows and rom-coms too – basically, if it’s on there, I’ve seen it!

When I’m not glued to the screen, I’m probably attempting a new recipe that I’ve seen on TikTok, much to the delight (or sometimes dismay) of my friends and family. I firmly believe in the trio of good food, cherished family time, and great friends!

Explore how we can support your medical device journey to the market

Label Durability Validation

We perform assessments of medical device packaging, labels and markings to determine the robustness during the life cycle of the device.

Reusable medical device reprocessing

We test your medical device reprocessing procedures, as detailed in your IFU, validating the cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation cycles.

Disinfection for medical devices

We test the efficacy and compatibility of a wide range of disinfectants for medical devices, including disinfection technologies and robots.

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