Meet the MCRC: Christine Mullen

OCRB side at nighttime

Meet the MCRC Strategic Operations Team. We sat down with Christine Mullen, Executive Assistant to the MCRC Directors, to find out more about her and her role at the Manchester Cancer Research Centre.

Can you tell us about your role and what you do at the MCRC?

As Executive Assistant to the MCRC Directors, my role is to provide high-quality personal and professional administrative support to the Director of Strategic Initiatives, Professor Nic Jones, and the MCRC Director of Research Operations and Strategy, Dr Claire Trinder. I provide additional support to the MCRC Director, Rob Bristow whilst also functioning as a part of the wider MCRC Operations team.

I also give professional administrative oversight related to the Paterson Redevelopment Project. This includes coordinating relevant processes and procedures, governance and acting as a liaison for the partners and groups that will be cohabiting in the space and the OCRB.


Christine Mullen headshot

What is your day-to-day work like?

No one day is the same. My role is extremely multifaceted, but in essence it is about proactively maximising my principles’ time. I work to enable the team and individuals within the team to succeed, staying one step ahead and keeping myself and everyone else sane in the process. Easier said than done!



What is the biggest challenge in your role?

There are several challenges in a role of this nature, but my biggest challenge is not being able to be more than one person. With the recent financial challenges brought about by the pandemic, budget constraints are tough. I really miss our administrative assistants, not only because they were fabulous people, but also because of their tireless working efforts. This allowed me to have a bigger impact in saving my executives’ time by focusing on the more strategic work that needed attention.




What do you miss from office life?

I miss the coffee rush in the morning to get a drink from Café Vivo before the early bird discount expired. You were guaranteed to bump into someone you needed and be able to pick their brains in the queue. I feel that those unplanned natural chats really are the heart of collaborative working.


How does it feel being part of a cancer research organisation?

It feels great! A lot of the tasks you undertake as an EA are similar anywhere you work but working for the MCRC I get to see the big picture and understand my part in the team in the context of ‘Team Science’.  That’s what makes all the more routine day to day pieces of the role really worth it.

I also enjoy working with a wide variety of colleagues and like the relationship building and learning that comes along with it. I feel very fortunate to work in partnership with three amazing organisations in CRUK, The Christie and University of Manchester.


What do you do outside of work to keep you busy?

Three girls, a husband and a dog that all need looking after keeps me pretty busy! As a family we love the outdoors and hike quite a lot in the Lake District, Peak District or North Wales with our English Springer Spaniel Lucy.

If there’s a spare moment for me I love to read. During lockdown I’ve compiled a list of ‘classics’ that everyone in the world seems to have read but I haven’t. I’m now diligently working my way through them. I’m also a big fan of biographies and am always taking book recommendations!

MCRC Annual Report 2020/2021

This article was originally published in our 2020/2021 Annual Report. Read the full report to discover the cancer research innovations over the past year at the MCRC.


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