UCL Ear Institute


Spotlight on... Caitlin Broadbent

22 March 2023

This week we meet Caitlin Broadbent – Cell and Molecular Biology Technician at the Ear Institute – who chats to us about helping out with the UCL Technical Showcase, which will be taking place in the Cloisters on 30 March!


What is your role and what does it involve?

I am a Cell and Molecular Biology Technician at the Ear Institute. I manage the cell and molecular biology wet labs – so everything from organising equipment maintenance, to helping with parts of research projects. We are a highly collaborative lab with lots of shared equipment to take care of. I also do a lot of sustainability work in my department and co-lead on the Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF), and Green Impact.

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I’ve been at UCL for six years. My first UCL role was as a Junior Technician at the School of Pharmacy, with an incredible team that taught me loads and helped me develop my skills so that I could move into the role I have now.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

I joined the Ear Institute on Secondment and the following year, just after I became a permanent member of staff, they nominated me for (and I won jointly!) the UCL One PS Staff Personal Excellence award, I was incredibly honoured to know that my colleagues had nominated me when I hadn’t even been there long.

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?

I’m joining the UCL Lab Sustainability team in March on a one-day-a-week secondment to help out with LEAF and learn more about laboratory sustainability. I’m looking forward to helping Martin and teams around UCL with their green efforts in their labs.

Isabel Goncalves Catuzzo, our new Technical Staff Programme Manager has set up ‘@TechsatUCL’ Twitter and Instagram pages, and I’m helping with the Twitter page in my spare time. We’re hoping to raise visibility of Technical Staff at UCL and share opportunities for UCL Techs as well on the page. We’ve already done a campaign on professional registration and we’ve got more planned including sustainability, teaching and more!

In the labs at the Ear Institute, we’re working on improving the layout of the lab, helping it flow better and generally having a really good clear out of equipment. That’s going to be a long process, but will help us become safer, more sustainable, and more organised overall.

I’m also helping out with the UCL Technical Showcase, which will be taking place on 30 March 2023. Technical Staff from across UCL will be showcasing their work, skills and contribution to UCL, and we would encourage everyone to come along! Links for the event and associated photo competition are on our Linktree.

What is your favourite album, film and novel?

  • Folklore by Taylor Swift. It helps me get to sleep at night because it's very calming. I am also a total Swiftie.
  • Glass Onion by Rian Johnson on Netflix, a recent but very clever detective story, I love a good detective story! All the clues are there, you just need to make sense of them.
  • Matthew Reilly’s Ice Station – fast paced and with great plot (and a bit of a mystery book).

What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?

It's pronounced scone [sc-own] until its scone [s-gone]

(I’m from Devon, we love our scones).

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

My scattered friends – some of them live on other continents and in other countries so I would love to have them all in one place.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Not so much advice as reassurance.

To my 23/24 year old self: you’re going to wonder whether quitting your degree was the right choice. It was.

What would it surprise people to know about you?

I know all the words to the Hamilton soundtrack and one of my previous job titles was ‘Cat Translator’ (I worked in a Cat Café for eight months)

What is your favourite place?

Anywhere by the sea. I particularly love Whitsand Bay in Cornwall, and Bigbury-on-sea in Devon.


Find out more about the UCL Technical Staff Showcase - and sign up to join!