Cagney Coomer has been working as a sequencing technician at the University of Kentucky Advanced Genetic Technologies Center (AGTC). We asked Cagney about her work and her training.
What biotechnology program did you attend?
What degree/certificate are you working towards?
What do you do for your job?
I prepare samples for Sanger sequencing and load the samples onto the sequencer. Sometimes preparing the samples means running a PCR, doing a plasmid extraction, or just resuspending the Sample in HIDI. I also troubleshoot and try to figure out why certain samples do not get good sequences, whether it be equipment failure, PCR failure or template problems.
What are some techniques that you commonly use?
Plasmid DNA purification
Agarose gel electrophoresis
A variety of Quality Control methods
Please describe what you do in an average day
An average day for me means coming to work, maintaining the sequencing instruments (the ABI 3730 and 3730xl). I find out what samples have been submitted for sequencing that day and determine what needs to happen to the samples before they are ready for the sequencer. Then I perform all PCR's on all samples that need it. I do an ethanol clean up on all samples that have completed the PCR. Finally, I allow the samples to dry before resuspending them in HIDI and placing them on the 3730 or 3730xl.
What advice would you give someone who is interested in a biotech career?
Pay close attention to detail, keep a very accurate and detailed lab notebook and most importantly know and fully understand all techniques and methods you use, being a able to troubleshoot is a key part in having a biotech career.