Spotlight on... Isabel Gonçalves Cattuzzo

This week we meet Isabel Gonçalves Cattuzzo, Departmental Laboratory Manager for the School of Pharmacy. Here, Isabel chats to us about her work with UCL’s Technical Managers Group, of which she is a member - and her love of music and Star Wars films.

What is your role and what does it involve?

I am Departmental Laboratory Manager for School of Pharmacy. My role involves working together with academic staff to deliver practical classes for undergraduates and postgraduates for the Department of Pharmaceutics. It also involves being Deputy Departmental Safety Officer for three Research Departments and managing the shared instrumental labs for the research department of Pharmaceutics.

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

I have been at the School of Pharmacy in this role since 2005. We (the School of Pharmacy) joined UCL in 2012. Initially, I did a temporary role also at the School of Pharmacy in 2003 and I liked the Division so much that I had to come back. Previously, I worked as a Chemical Engineer in industry in Brazil, in a company called Ambev.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

I am quite content with my little daily wins, to be honest - I am not very good at blowing my own trumpet. However, if I am to mention one thing, I am very proud of having recently worked together with our fantastic team of technical staff and some academics at the School of Pharmacy to deliver face-to-face practical classes during such challenging times. It was challenging, rewarding, well received, and appreciated by our pharmacy students.

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

There is quite a lot going on at the moment, aside from the already busy day-to-day job. I am a member of UCL’s Technical Managers Group (TMG). UCL is signatory of the Technician Commitment , an initiative led by the Science Council, supported by the Gatsby Foundation, to help address key challenges facing technical staff. The Commitment will ensure greater visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technical staff across all disciplines.

There are many projects the TMG are currently involved with, such as professional registration pilots, fair attribution guidelines, communities of practice for technical staff, and most currently, the Technical Futures Staff Survey , which is open until 30 September for all technical staff at UCL to complete. Through existing and emerging technical Communities of Practice, TMG are also working with Organisational Development to create and pilot new Technical Career Pathways.

I am very hopeful that the survey results will not only benefit the technical staff, but also help UCL in planning around the four pillars of the Technician Commitment, as well improving talent retention and attraction for technical positions.

What is your favourite album, film and novel?

That is really a tough question as I love music, films and reading - it is quite hard to choose one of each only. Off the top of my head, my favourite album is Prenda Minha - Caetano Veloso; novel would be Grande Sertões Veredas (The Devil to Pay in the Backlands) and the film, I really cannot choose one, so I will go for the Star Wars movies - all of them.

What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?

"My first job was working in an orange juice factory, but I got canned... couldn’t concentrate."

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

I love this question, because you can choose the impossible (even the ones no longer with us). So, my dream dinner guests would be: my family and extended family, Billy Connolly, Gilberto Gil, Iris Apfel, Captain Tom Moore and Nelson Mandela.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Always believe in yourself and don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise.

What would it surprise people to know about you?

Probably my age (just joking). I am definitely an open book and people who know me already know everything about me.

What is your favourite place?

Maceió, by the sea, with my husband and my children.


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