As the coronavirus pandemic took hold during his final semester at school, Nicolas Troisi landed a full-time job as a medical laboratory scientist at Winchester Hospital. He started in April, before he even graduated.

“I wanted a profession where my work could help people get better and allow them to return back to daily life,” says Troisi, who is working in the hospital’s chemistry department. “I also love science. Being a medical laboratory scientist puts a check in both of those boxes.”

Medical laboratory professionals, who work behind the scenes to conduct testing for diseases, have always been in high demand. With the pandemic, the need is even greater.

Troisi worked as a medical laboratory associate at Winchester Hospital while attending UML and gained extensive experience from his clinical lab rotations during junior year. Each rotation showed him what it would be like to work in different types of labs.

He learned about hematology at Boston Children’s Hospital, immunohematology at North Shore Medical Center, clinical chemistry at Boston Medical Center and microbiology at Winchester Hospital. 

“After each clinical rotation, the manager would say something along the lines of ‘Please apply when you graduate’ or ‘We want you to work here; you would be a great addition,’” says Troisi. 

Through these experiences, he found that he was most interested in chemistry. 

“The reason chemistry appealed to me the most is because of the vast amount of specialization and testing that can be done,” he says. “Knowing how to run labor-intensive tests and operate instruments that perform thousands of tests a day is crucial to the success of the laboratory, and this appealed to me.”

Troisi says his experience at UMass Lowell was “extraordinary” because of the quality of instruction and the individual attention from professors. 

“The professors in the medical laboratory science program set the bar high for how education should be designed and delivered,” he says.