A Day in the Life of Lab Manager, Dr Gili Band
Author: London Sperm Bank
I am the Lab and sperm bank manager in London Sperm Bank, 1 ST Thomas st. I hold a PhD degree in Biochemistry and after 15 years of experience in the field of male infertility, working for a range of public and private sector organizations, I sought for a change and moved to London to join the winning team of LSB.
A day in my life
My normal day involves both lab work and management tasks. When I arrive, I greet my staff including the andrologists and donor recruiters and check in with them to see how they are doing. We talk about the schedule for the day and they let me know of any potential challenges. After checking my messages, I’ll ensure all forms, audits and administrative tasks are completed to HFEA standards. If there are any potential donors who have passed their semen analysis, I will conduct the final approval of a donor’s file, reviewing their medical history and diagnostics. Currently I am chaperoning a new andrologist and completing his training, as well as hiring 2 new donor recruiters. I love that our team is growing!
What do you look for in a new hire?
In the lab, we could hire a Tech or an Andrologist. An Andrologist typically would have three years of focusing on biology and possibly be educated to a master’s degree level. A Lab Technician will have professional certificates as well as 6 months working in a lab and know how to process samples. Our Donor Recruiters often come from a customer service, HR, or recruitment background.
What is the best part of your day?
We make a lot of decisions throughout our lives but the biggest and most important decision our patients made was to become parents. Being able to help them in this process does not only positively impacting their lives, but powerfully contributing to my own personal growth and lasting happiness, giving meaning to one’s life. I genuinely believe we’re doing a sacred work!
What mostly motivates me is communicating and create a personal connection with our donors, as with the help of our wonderful team in LSB, they slowly open-up and share their life story.
The donors are part of our LSB family. I also love working in the lab as a scientist.
What is the most challenging?
One of the more challenging parts of the day is rejecting a potential donor. It is hard when he has great reasons to donate to have to tell him that we are unable to accept him. There is a bigger picture- we, as a sperm bank, have an obligation to the recipients as well as our donors. As the first filter, I am often the one who must give the bad news. Having worked with patients choosing donors in Israel, I know how important it is to make sure we have the very best to offer these families. Their health and happiness are why we are all here at the end of the day, and the donors understand that.
What is your advice to anyone wanting to pursue a lab career?
Be professional! You need to know yourself and enjoy performing the laboratory work. It can be routine and wear you out a bit, so you need to love what you are doing. Keep up to date with medical research online; follow current publications, read articles related to your field, go to conferences, and get inspired! Keep thinking about how you can progress and become a better person, and never forget why you loved science in the first place.