Employee Spotlight: Svetlana Zabezhinsky, Senior Research Associate
Stratos Genomics Employee Spotlight is an intermittent feature on our blog that highlights our talented and dedicated staff. April's spotlight is on Senior Research Associate, Svetlana Zabezhinsky.
Describe your role at Stratos Genomics.
My current role as a Senior Research Associate in the detection chemistry group is to optimize nanopore sequencing of Xpandomers. It has been quite a journey from the early days of the company, when we were developing our detection methods using mimics, to now where we routinely sequence using Xpandomers. To experience such progress and to see a concept turn into reality has been truly incredible. Part of what makes being part of the detection chemistry team so gratifying is to be able to sequence our Xpandomers and watch them translocate in real time. It’s extremely satisfying to see the results of a lot of people’s hard work on a daily basis.
What do you look forward to when you come to work every day?
Apart from working with incredibly talented, fun, and passionate people, I love that I am able to work on so many different and really interesting projects. I’ve been working at Stratos Genomics for 5 years this month (yay!) and I have rarely been bored. I’ve had projects focusing on biomolecule conjugations, protein engineering and of course nanopore sequencing to name a few. I love the fast paced environment that is constantly evolving and the creativity we are able to use to solve problems and find the answers we need.
Describe your biggest “win” on a project.
This is a hard question. There have been so many big wins. I guess the one I always go back to is when we finally demonstrated sequencing using our X-NTP’s. Everyone had worked so hard and to finally be able to hit that milestone was an amazing feeling. As crazy as it sounds, my favorite times at work are when we have big pushes to meet a goal. Everyone’s focus, determination, and optimism is always really uplifting. Hitting every little goal we set is always a great feeling, no matter how small or large the goal is.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?
I love unwinding and sitting down to watch a good show with my boyfriend and my two kitties, Oligo (Oly) and Nucleotide (Nook). I also love painting. My main subject is always cow related (it’s a long story) but I also venture into more scientific paintings such as neurons and blood cells so that I don’t lose touch of my nerdy-self outside of work.
Little-known fact about you that would surprise people:
I think some people would be surprised to know that I’ve lived in 3 countries. I was born in Russia and moved to Israel when I was 3. My family was then able to move to America when I was 8 through the lucky winnings of a green card through the green card lottery!