Employee Spotlight: Jessica Vellucci, Scientist
Stratos Genomics Employee Spotlight is an intermittent feature on our blog that highlights our talented and dedicated staff. November's spotlight is on Scientist, Jessica Vellucci.
Describe your role at Stratos Genomics.
I design and run experiments that involve the assembly of small chemical building blocks into more complex structures. As a scientist in the molecular engineering group, I consider both the structural properties and electronic characteristics of organic molecules, and then synthesize compounds with interesting reactive properties that may get incorporated into our XNTP scaffold.
What do you look forward to when you come to work every day?
I look forward to being able to try out some of the wild reactions I dream up. I work with an incredible team that generates ideas and performs experiments that result in complicated and architecturally beautiful molecules. Being a part of a group of passionate and talented people makes it easier to tackle the scientific challenges we face on a daily basis.
Describe your biggest “win” on a project.
It's difficult to single out one event because our group makes new molecules every day, and that’s incredible. We're making chemical bonds that no one has ever made before! An example of an exciting "win" for me is being able to synthesize a molecule, observe its many transformations as it makes its way through our process, and finally seeing how the structure impacts the end result. That is pretty spectacular.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?
I enjoy cooking and learning about new recipes and of course, eating great food. My longstanding obsession is to learn how to bake the perfect loaf of bread. I like to preserve jams and pickles and my favorites to give away, and to snack on, are apricot jam and spicy pickled asparagus (though I don’t recommend eating them together).
Little-known fact about you that would surprise people:
In middle school, I wrestled varsity for the wrestling team. I was the strongest girl on my team. And also, the only girl. During our practices, we would listen to Metallica's "Enter Sandman" and that song still gets me really motivated and ready to workout!