Today we continue our employee profile series, this time catching up with Field Applications Scientist Darren Arney, who’s based in Indianapolis and has been with Biosero since 2017. He attended Purdue University and earned his bachelor’s degree in biotechnology.
Q: What do you do at Biosero?
A: I work with the applications team. We try to bridge the gap between two different types of technical knowledge: first, the scientific workflows, where we need to understand the biology and chemistry of the steps we’re automating; and second, best practices in automation. I work with the post-sales team, where I help with the deployment of our Green Button Go® products, doing any method development and other help needed to support our customers’ workflows and ensuring that we’re adhering to their timelines.
Q: How did you get on this career path?
A: I like tinkering with things, and I’m fascinated with technology. As a kid, I was the person to fix the family VCR, and now, I’m the guy who converted an old web camera into a motion-detection system to record activity at the bird feeder outside my office window.
Q: What brought you to Biosero?
A: I worked previously at Dow AgroSciences in Indianapolis. The last role I had there was in a lab that did a lot of high-throughput DNA extraction for marker-associated breeding. We used a lot of big automated workcells and ran them 14 hours a day. Working with lab automation was a great fit with my interest in technology and tinkering, so when I looked for a new job, Biosero was a natural opportunity. I really enjoyed going from a gigantic multinational organization to a team of about 50 people. In a smaller company, you feel like you’re contributing more.
Q: What’s one thing you wish more people knew about laboratory automation?
A: The easiest thing to notice with lab automation is all the robots, but the automation of data is just as important as the automation of benchtop tasks when you want to fully support a research pipeline.
Q: If you could automate anything in your life, what would it be?
A: I would love to have the full George Jetson morning routine, where you push a button and a system automatically gets you out of bed, makes your breakfast, and gets you all ready for your day.
Q: What’s your best career advice?
A: Learning when to provide an informed and necessary ‘no’ is just as important as being able to provide a confident and enthusiastic ‘yes.’ It’s important to manage what you promise people.
Q: What was the first thing you ever wanted to be when you grew up?
A: A race car driver. I grew up in Indianapolis, where the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is probably our best-known attraction. Race cars always fascinated me as a kid. I’ve been to the race dozens of times.
Q: What’s something your colleagues don’t know about you?
A: I like cooking, so my affinity for using technology to make life easier and more productive has led to a diverse collection of kitchen gadgets. I’m looking for new recipes to use them with.