Our customers have their pick of automation solutions. So when they choose our products, we commit to understanding their needs and ensuring that we can seamlessly integrate our solutions into their labs. That’s where people like Jesse Mayer, an applications consulting scientist, come in. He joined Biosero in 2021. He has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Washington State University and a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Nevada.
Q: What do you do at Biosero?
A: Once our sales team has identified a lead, I provide software demos and answer questions. Sometimes customers know exactly what they want so I just have to put together a concept rendering of what a system would look like. Other times, they tell me, “I’m doing this at the bench, and I want it to be as hands-off as possible.” In that case, I recommend equipment and strategies that I’ve seen work for that goal. It’s all about being an advocate for the customer, figuring out what they need, and making sure Biosero has the solution that works the best for them and their project.
Q: How did you get on this career path?
A: I did not want a career where I would spend my days working on the same things over and over again. I like jumping into projects, helping where I can, and then moving on to the next one. During my Ph.D., an application scientist for one of the products my lab bought came in and I realized that their job description matched what I was interested in doing. So, my first role out of school was in applications at Thermo Fisher.
Q: What brought you to Biosero?
A: When COVID-19 hit, Thermo Fisher built an automation platform for testing which I supported. Before that, I thought automation was a single instrument that could move liquids back and forth, but this was different. It was huge, with lots of different equipment and it could process 10,000 tests per day. I was very impressed and that made me want to get more involved in automation. When Biosero had an opening, I jumped on it.
Q: What’s one thing you wish more people knew about laboratory automation?
A: Some customers think automation will allow them to do exactly what they currently do using robots. But a really good manual workflow or assay or test is not always perfect for automation. Tubes that twist open are easy for human hands but can be really hard for robots to do. There are considerations that you want to make when you move a process over. We may have to tweak things to make the process more automation-friendly, and that pays out more in the long run.
For example, we have really cool automation at Biosero that can open up tubes but it’s slower and might not open tubes that are over-tightened. If the customer can switch to using plates instead, then the automation is more efficient, fast, and works every time. So have an open mind about potential changes that come with automation and how those can really benefit your workflow.
Q: If you could automate anything in your life, what would it be?
A: I would like a self-cleaning kitchen. I love cooking but I always make a mess. If I could cook an amazing dinner and then walk away and come back and the kitchen would be clean and organized, that would be perfect.
Q: What’s your best career advice?
A: Do something for a little bit. Don’t focus on finding a career title; try new things and then figure out what you like. Think about individual tasks. Once you figure out what things you like, look for jobs that have those things.
Q: What was the first thing you ever wanted to be when you grew up?
A: I wanted to be a race car driver. I loved racing video games and the cars that were in them. Unfortunately, that is a hard field to get into. Science was the next best thing.
Q: What’s something your colleagues don’t know about you?
A: I’m not much of a musician but I really love listening to music, following the music industry and the different genres. When I’m not on a call, I always have music playing in the background. In fact, if a customer gave me their concept rendering, I could probably tell them what music I was listening to when I put it together. The kind of music I play sometimes depends on deadlines. So, if I’ve got time for something, it might be more relaxed alternative or classic rock music. If I’ve got a 30-minute deadline, it might be some high-energy dance music.