March 9, 2020

A Day In The Life: Trace’s Lab

Researchers, scientists, inventory managers, progress trackers, communicators…life in Trace’s lab involves wearing many hats. Our founders, Diane and Poornima, met in a Stanford University laboratory and today Trace’s lab plays a vital role in internal operations. It’s a role we take very seriously because it is the first touch point of our customers’ soil once it arrives at Trace’s headquarters. Receiving samples into the lab kick starts all the internal processes from sequencing to bioinformatics to ultimately surfacing the information to customers through the Customer Portal.

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I’m a Senior Molecular Associate and have a bachelors in molecular biology and a masters in biotechnology. Our team’s backgrounds include chemistry and biochemistry, we’re an efficient team and we complement one another. What unites us is the opportunity to be part of cutting-edge genomics technology. Working in the lab gives us a physical feeling of accomplishment every day. Being part of a startup, our days are far from monotonous, we are involved in every step of the molecular process; this requires us to be agile and innovate on a daily basis.

“There’s no greater sense of accomplishment than loading the samples onto the sequencers because we have lined up everything in place to execute.”

We wear comfortable shoes because a typical day is mostly on our feet. We review samples and organize those into corresponding projects to verify and prioritize. This involves cross-communication with Product and Customer Success teams. Once this is complete, we are ready to work with the soil samples. This begins with extracting the DNA from the samples and prepping them for our sequencers. We execute on lab protocols, each step builds on the other, but there’s no greater sense of accomplishment than loading the samples onto the sequencers because we have lined up everything in place to execute. It’s like setting up dominos and then pushing the first one一we visualize the impact of the processes and all the work that has gone into them.

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“The best advice I could give someone wanting to work in Trace’s lab is to have a strong sense of enthusiasm, be excited about being part of a collaborative team and be a problem-solver.”

 

Working in the lab requires us to have confidence in our own knowledge and the ability to be open to new solutions. When it comes to big decisions, it’s a team effort, we take the team’s input into account. The best advice I could give someone wanting to work in Trace’s lab is to have a strong sense of enthusiasm, be excited about being a part of a collaborative team and be a problem-solver. And never be afraid to ask questions!

Want to work with an awesome team in Trace’s lab? Check out our careers page for openings.