Employee Spotlight: Taylor Lehmann, Senior Research Associate
Stratos Genomics Employee Spotlight is an intermittent feature on our blog that highlights our talented and dedicated staff. January's spotlight is on Senior Research Associate, Taylor Lehmann.
Describe your role at Stratos Genomics
My role as Senior Research Associate at Stratos Genomics constantly changes. As a member of our Biochemistry team, I’m positioned to work closely with any team in the lab. We collect and test the polymerases and molecules that are produced in house by our protein and molecular engineering teams. We also create an expandable DNA surrogate molecule (Xpandomer) to be read downstream by our detection chemistry team. In this role, I also get to collaborate with each of these teams and assist where needed.
What do you look forward to when you come to work every day?
I look forward to the challenges presented by our work. We strive to create something brand new and I find myself constantly inspired by the ingenuity of my coworkers. The biggest thing I look forward to is learning something new every day that’s often unpredictable. On top of that I can see the positive impact of what we are working towards. I’m motivated by the power of our technology and the challenge of making it a reality.
Describe your biggest “win” on a project.
In the three years that I’ve been at Stratos Genomics I’ve experienced a number of big wins. My biggest personal win is my contribution to developing the assay that we use to screen mutant polymerases for desirable traits in our sequencing technology. It’s now a robust, high-throughput assay that has allowed us to analyze thousands of mutant polymerases. It has also led us to many improved polymerases that play a big role our technology today. We use this assay daily and I still get excited with each new batch of polymerases that we analyze. I’m always looking at the data as it's generated to see if we have a new, best polymerase!
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?
When I’m not working I like to spend time with friends: it can be snowboarding, climbing, having a beer at a local brewery, playing board game, catching a movie, or any number of other activities. There are few things I enjoy more than a good conversation and a good laugh with friends. I also like to use friends as an excuse to travel; I try to get away at least a few weekends a year to see people who live in other parts of the country.
Little-known fact about you that would surprise people:
I'm scuba certified and absolutely love to dive when I can find the time. I actually worked in a marine biology lab in college and very strongly considered becoming a marine biologist. Every dive brings a new experience and marine creatures fascinate me. There are few things that I find more relaxing than the rhythmic breathing and feeling of weightlessness during a dive. In the end it made more sense for me as a hobby than a profession, but I can't wait for the next chance to get back in the water!