Employee Spotlight: Will Lint, Scientist

 

Stratos Genomics Employee Spotlight is an intermittent feature on our blog that highlights our talented and dedicated staff. October's spotlight is on Scientist, Will Lint.

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Describe your role at Stratos Genomics.
My role in the Molecular Engineering group is to oversee the production of highly modified oligonucleotides and to maintain our DNA synthesizer. Although my educational background prepared me for work in histology, I immediately became fascinated with DNA synthesis at my first job. Since then, I have worked at four companies with nine different synthesizer models from a variety of manufacturers, including a prototype BioAutomation synthesizer that I helped design. A lab has all manner of devices for analysis, purification, and driving reactions but a DNA synthesizer actually creates something. Oligos are central to our technology and play a large role in experiments on a daily basis. The oligos designed at Stratos are the most complex that I’ve ever seen, which keeps every day interesting!

What do you look forward to when you come to work every day?
As with most biotech jobs, the loveably quirky and brilliant people that are drawn to this profession are a highlight of each day. It is such a pleasure to work in the presence of others who enjoy exploring unknowns and trying things that have never been done before. I believe that most of them share my feeling that our work is more than a job that pays the bills, it is an opportunity to have a beneficial impact on people's lives.

Describe your biggest “win” on a project.
For me, each time I write a cycle script for some crazy new oligo design and see the synthesizer execute the run exactly as intended feels like a big win! I am gratified by the improvements we have made in the yields and purity profiles over the past couple years.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?
Spending time with my family and friends is what I look forward to most. This usually takes the form of cooking, eating, and watching lots of movies together. Between Netflix, Hulu and theaters, we take in two or three movies every week. When I have time, I am also big into baking. I was the pastry chef’s assistant at Dilettante on Broadway for a couple years and I still enjoy playing in the kitchen. I enjoy tweaking recipe formulas and then compelling my loved ones to eat the results.

Little-known fact about you that would surprise people:
I am an avid amateur herpetologist! I am especially fascinated by snakes and legless lizards, which I have studied since I was six years old. Over the years, I maintained a variety of (mostly) non-venomous snakes in my collection, including green tree pythons, emerald tree boas, and an assortment of king snakes. I have successfully bred Western hognose snakes and cared for the challenging, finicky Australian diamond python. I used to be a fixture at the Pacific Northwest Herpetological Society monthly meetings and even gave a couple presentations.

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