Pathologist, Dr Marcella Roman, and Lab manager, Lynn Worsley, have been working together in the same Penrith lab for decades. Together, they have amassed 65 years of pathology experience.

Throughout their long careers, they have seen technology change and colleagues come and go however their passion for pathology has remained constant.

Lynn Worsley (68) began her scientific career in 1972.

“During school holidays, I started working in the lab and I loved it. I was fascinated by what people could tell from a simple blood sample. I went on to do a degree in medical science and the rest is history!”

For Lynn, every day at the lab has been a learning experience, whether it’s analysing tissue samples or adapting to automation. “I’m fortunate to have great variety in my job. Some days I’m in charge of blood bank and other days I’ll work in the biochemistry department. As a small team of 20, we’re encouraged to develop diverse skills.”

One of the most enduring aspects of Lynn’s career is the remarkable standard of service evident in the lab: “Quality control is a huge priority for us and we work very hard to ensure an efficient turnaround. We view each sample as a person so if someone has a worrying test result, we’ll do everything we can to ensure they receive urgent medical attention – even if that means going to their home personally.”

Dr Marcella Roman (62) shares Lynn’s interest in patient care. “If all the pathology labs shut tomorrow, you couldn’t cure people. Treating patients without pathology is like trying to look for a black cat in the dark.”

Since starting at the lab in 1987, Marcella has witnessed a sea change in pathology. “In recent years, pathology has developed a greater role in medicine, particularly in the realm of personalised cancer treatment.”

A multi-skilled pathologist, Marcella has helped hundreds of cancer patients and their doctors through the years. “I’m involved in every step of the process from performing biopsies to advising treatment. A pathologist truly is the doctor’s doctor.”