Under the Microscope is one of our Quality Control Microbiologist, Katie Pernic. Being the first designated QC microbiologist at MDG, Katie has played a pivotal role in the development of our QA/QC processes.
1. What drew you to Microbial Discovery Group?
When I joined MDG in 2012 it was a very small group of about 10 people, but I could tell right away that MDG was aiming for higher goals. There was (and still is!) a lot of opportunity for growth, and I thought my prior experience in QC would help the company to grow as well.
2. What does your typical day look like?
My mornings are spent reading and reporting results from the previous day’s plates, performing short tests such as enzyme assays, writing reports, or setting up materials for testing later in the day. The main chunk of our work is done in the afternoon once all QC samples have arrived; this might consist of things like plating the samples for count, performing DNA extractions, PCR, or running gels.
3. What are you working on right now?
I am currently helping to train a new employee, writing a report on some proof-of-concept testing from last week, comparing yields for freeze-dried vs. spray-dried cultures, and testing our most recent tank runs for purity.
4. What is the most inspiring part of your job?
It’s very satisfying seeing a product go out the door after having checked it through all the steps of production; I get to see the culmination of a lot of hard work.
5. What is your favorite aspect about working at MDG?
I love being able to see a direct, positive effect from the work that I do every day; that was definitely something missing from my previous job.
6. What do you like to do when you’re not at the office?
You can usually find me at home playing video games, tabletop board games/RPGs, writing, or watching sci-fi movies with one of my many pets snuggled in my lap. If I’m not there, I’m probably outside gardening with my wife, Chris, or walking my dog, Darwin.
7. Professional goal for the next 5 years?
I want to continue building my confidence and leadership skills so that when I feel strongly about my results I am able to present my conclusions in a strong, decisive way.
8. Let’s talk about QC and what you think makes MDG’s process so successful…
I think it all comes down to the team of incredible people that have gathered in QC over the years! Processes only improve when people take the time to think about them and work out ways to improve them. I am lucky to work with a group of people who share a desire to do just that. Every person in my department is very meticulous and hardworking, with a determination to get things done the right way, and figure out what happened when things don’t go as expected.