Three Techs

July 17, 2008

The considerable efforts of the academic side of the scientific team (the PI, postdocs, grad student and undergraduates) depend heavily on the efforts of a variety of technical staff in many types of biomedical research. I already discussed the value of the laboratory technician, meaning the individuals who are hired by the PI to work specifically for her within her lab. There are also a variety of institutional support technicians who work to provide needed skills and resources that are shared across many labs. Examples include scientific core facilities providing anything from specific high budget equipment to cost-effective routine assays. Other support may come from shops that manufacture custom lab equipment, animal care staff, human subjects medical support, information technology and graphic design experts.
I depend on several types of support staff in my work and find that, just as with techs in my own lab, good quality employees can be a critical difference in furthering the efficient, rapid and high quality progress of our work. So when I step back for a minute and notice that three of the most hard working, caring, responsible, smart, innovative and service-of-the-science-focused support techs that I have ever run across are no longer in the job anymore, well, I care. A lot.

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