Staff Stories

Bartosz Balczerski

Principal Investigator - Medical

Where in Kromek do you work?

In the Projects Department (Medical) in Kromek HQ in Sedgefield, County Durham

What did you do before you joined Kromek?

After a long stint in academia (PhD, postdoc), I worked for a few years for Leica Biosystems, a medical device company based in Newcastle. I was involved in developing cancer diagnostics, running clinical trials and engaging with regulators like the FDA.

What do you do at Kromek?

At Kromek, I am leading the LD MBI project (Low Dose Molecular Breast Imaging). It’s a collaborative project with Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust funded by Innovate UK. The goal is to develop a new breast cancer screening technology based on CZT that will be much better than mammography at finding early cancers in women with dense breast tissue. It’s estimated that up to 40% of women have dense breasts, which might obscure a tumour during an X-ray exam. Finding cancer at an early stage, when it’s still small and hasn’t spread throughout the body improves the chances of survival dramatically. That’s why I’m so passionate about working on this project and developing a product that will help thousands of women undergoing screening every year.

What’s the best thing about working for Kromek?

I come from a biology background, so my expertise is quite different to everybody else at Kromek. It’s quite interesting then and stimulating to be able to talk to physicists about the use of CZT technology in Medical Imaging and learn something new every day. I also love the intellectual freedom to pursue your own solutions to problems and the collaborative spirit that’s present in the company.

Did you move into the area where you now work?

I grew up in Poland and left the country after graduating from university. I then lived in London for 5 years and later in Los Angeles for 5 years. Me and my wife moved back to the UK in 2015 and found ourselves in the North East by chance, really. But we’ve come to love this part of the country. People are friendly, there’s lots of outdoors stuff you can do (North Pennines, national parks) and the seaside is just 25 minutes from our house.

What do you do in your spare time?

My family is keeping me busy. I have a 3-year-old son and another baby arriving in August. We try to get outside as much as we can during the weekend (weather permitting) and have fun exploring parks, seaside and forests. If I get some time to myself, I like to spend it in our garden getting my hands dirty or reading books (historical fiction, science fiction and biographies are my favourites).

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