Laboratory TechnicianRapid Novor
I'm a lab technician that works on antibody sequencing. Antibodies are molecules found in our bodies that can identify a foreign agent (like a virus) and basically attaches a flag to it to warn the body. It's important to understand what antibodies look like to help produce medicines. This is what sequencing does, it identifies what the antibody looks like on a microscopic level. Therefore my day to day job involves me taking sample antibodies that have been sent to us by big pharmaceutical companies, and cutting them into smaller pieces so we can identify what they look like. By cutting them into small pieces, its like creating a puzzle; each piece is a section of the antibody, and all together they form the whole structure. Working in a lab is kind of like baking, you mix things together to get a final product of something different than what you started with. Instead of ingredients like flour I use chemicals and enzymes. I enjoy this line of work because it gives me the chance to problem solve, use math skills, and see exciting developments that may impact the future.
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Areas of Expertise
I went to the University of Guelph where I studied biochemistry. I honestly didn't pick this program for any other reason than that I liked biology and chemistry and wanted to do something within the science field. Originally when I applied to university I applied for the co-op program so I could see what job opportunities are out there. Sadly I wasn't originally accepted in co-op but I decided I wanted to still go to Guelph and reapply once I was there. After one semester at school, I was accepted and this is one of my happiest decisions I made in university. With co-op I did 4 four month placements at different companies. My first co-op was with Dupont Pioneer (now known as Corteva) working in a genetic research lab on canola. My second co-op was with SGS Canada working in quality control on wheat and grain in Guelph. My third co-op was at Ridgetown Campus, a satellite campus to University of Guelph, researching fungal diseases in wheat and corn. My final co-op was with the University of Guelph in a lab researching cannabis' medical properties. During my last co-op I also worked part time in a lab on campus that researched flowering genes in corn. I am personally a big advocate to take co-op if you are unsure what you want to do. Its a great way to see what's out there, try different industries, and make connections. I did a very agricultural route but I knew lots of friends who did food science jobs, pharmaceutical jobs, government, oil, etc.. After graduating I was able to gain employment in less than 3 months and I really do thank the co-op.