Learn more about our Member Spotlight of the month, Mr. Bradley Knesel from his conversation with Membership Committee member Mr. Heath Clay
Member Spotlight Interview
1. How did you first find out about cytology?
I first found out about cytology while I was in high school. My father, Ernie Knesel, was the founder of Roche Image Analysis and developed the Autocyte PREP System, today known as BD SurePath. He would converse with friends about the technology and how liquid based cytology would impact the cytology profession.
2. What drew you to this profession
I’ve always been interested in the field of science. While growing up, both my parents worked at Roche Biomedical Laboratories in Burlington, NC, so I had the opportunity to see a clinical laboratory at a very young age. I was amazed by the instrumentation and enjoyed seeing it.
Upon graduating with a BS in Biology, I was a working founder at our family’s clinical laboratory in Greensboro, NC. My parents trained me on the job in hematology, clinical chemistry and immunochemistry. I also had the opportunity to be trained on the Digene HC2 system.
In 2004, I decided I wanted to obtain an advanced science degree. I pursued a MS in Clinical Laboratory Science from the Medical University of South Carolina with a concentration in Cytology and Molecular Biology. While in Charleston, I was lucky to work closely with
Dr. Blair Holladay and Dr. Marshall Austin. I chose this professional course because it satisfied my desire to practice cytopathology and molecular biology, which has become an essential part of cancer diagnostics and personalized medicine.
3. Tell us about an interesting case or situation that you’ve encountered in your practice.
I currently work for a cytology IVD manufacturer, CellSolutions. The most unique situations I encounter occur when I am traveling internationally. I enjoy traveling, but I must admit that I am a picky eater. Let’s just say my travels have opened my mind and introduced me to a variety of international cuisine.
4. What do you like best about being a cytotechnologist?
There is never a dull moment in the field of cytology. Our field has been evolving and the role of the cytotechnologist has been changing in parallel. My background in cytology has allowed me to explore and better understand cancer diagnostics. Knowing that I am a link in the chain of patient care and can make an impact has always been attractive to me.
5. What is the most rewarding thing that has happened to you in cytology?
For the past 2 years I have been active in the North Carolina Society of Cytology (NCSC), serving as President-Elect and now President. When I decided to serve on the board, our state membership was dwindling and there was little benefit to membership. Thanks to some hard work and dedication from the NCSC board, we put together some innovative conferences which helped regain membership and reinvigorated our state members.
6. What do you value most about your membership in the ASC?
In addition to CME, membership in the ASC provides me with great networking opportunities. I often attend the ASC Annual Scientific Meeting to catch up with friends, build new relationships, and hear the latest developments in the field of cytopathology and complimentary medicine.
7. Do you have a memory from the ASC that you would like to share?
My first ASC meeting was Chicago, 2004. I was fortunate enough to attend some of the vendor receptions…..it is amazing how well our profession knows how to party!!!
8. What advice would you give to students coming into the profession?
The field of cytology has been evolving since the introduction of liquid based cytology, about 25 years. Always be open to learning about new technologies and methodologies. Embrace potential opportunities and don’t be afraid to try new things, as the experience will make you more valuable in the workplace.