Employee Spotlight: Dylan O'Connell, Senior Research Associate
Stratos Genomics Employee Spotlight is an intermittent feature on our blog that highlights our talented and dedicated staff. May's spotlight is on Senior Research Associate, Dylan O'Connell.
Describe your role at Stratos Genomics:
I work in Molecular Engineering, which is basically the beginning of the Stratos Genomics pipeline. Our focus is designing and synthesizing the various molecular components that go into our expandable nucleotides. I’ve dabbled in pretty much everything our group does, but my current focus is improving and scaling the synthesis and purification of our reporter tethers.
What do you look forward to when you come to work every day?
What I love about this job is the uncertainty. As a scientist, I do my best to predict and plot the course of a project or experiment, but my predictions almost never pan out the way I hope. This can be frustrating, but that’s just the nature of the work. The flipside is the totally unassuming days where an out-there, afterthought-type experiment yields great results completely out of left field. It’s totally unpredictable, and it’s both humbling and extremely exciting at the same time.
Describe your biggest “win” on a project:
I’ve had the good fortune to play a role in several successful projects, but one instance definitely stands out. The better part of my first year at Stratos Genomics was devoted to improving and optimizing our modified nucleotide triphosphate synthesis. Almost a year to the day after I had been hired, I got to be part of the team that flew to Germany for a technology transfer project that included more than a few protocols that I had worked to develop. That definitely felt like a win.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?
When I’m not at work, I try to cultivate different facets of myself other than the scientific side. Usually this involves catching up with friends, reading, lifting something heavy at the gym, or trying to drink my way through Seattle.
Little-known fact about you that would surprise people:
For a few years in college, I was licensed as an EMT. During the school year, I worked as part of my college’s emergency response team, and during the summers, I was part of an ambulance crew in my hometown in Maine.