CST BLOG: Lab Expectations

The official blog of Cell Signaling Technology (CST), where we discuss what to expect from your time at the bench, share tips, tricks, and information.

We Are Cell Signaling Technology – Q&A with a CST Product Scientist

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The employees at Cell Signaling Technology are a unique group of hard working scientists, artists, nature enthusiasts, and sports fans. Despite our differences, all of us have the same goal: to make the best products possible in a stimulating, family-friendly environment run by some rather dedicated scientists. We all strive to fulfill the mission of the company, to make the most relevant, useful and reproducible products for basic and translational research with the hope that our hard work facilitates new discoveries and a deeper understanding of disease. In doing this, we haven’t forgotten our roots – many of our development and production teams have collaborations with external scientists, host weekly scientific talks from field experts, and we make it a point to interact with our customers and find out what they need, what works or what doesn’t. We also stay engaged with the community – more than 80% of CST employees participate in volunteer projects or sit on committees designed to provide social, environmental and education (public schools) grants.

We will periodically look more closely at some of our employees as a way of letting you know who we are and what we do. Whether you are an undergraduate student considering graduate school, a computer programmer or web designer with an interest in science, a post-doc seeking a career in biotech, or someone interested in environmental or social causes, we hope that this blog inspires you to pursue a career in the biotech industry to help achieve our shared goal of understanding disease mechanisms and make progress towards finding cures. We are excited to introduce you to the people who make and support the CST products you use. 

This week we are highlighting Srikanth, a.k.a. “Streek”, a Product Scientist in our Production Group. He is responsible for quality control on all new products as well as new lots of existing products within the Akt and cytoskeletal realm. He is also a member of our technical support team and works directly with customers to review experiments, optimize results and troubleshoot any problems. Srikanth has a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and is an expert in Cellular and Molecular Biology – especially in Akt signaling.

1. What was your dissertation title?

Positive Cross-talk Between Ecdysone and Insulin Signaling in Insect Growth

2. Where did you get your degree?

Northeastern University in the Laboratory of Dr. Wendy Smith.

3. How long have you been at CST?

3 years

4. What do you do at CST?

I am a product scientist. I prepare and manage all of the Akt antibodies as well as products for the study of actin and microtubule regulation and adherens junctions. I also provide technical support to our customers, attend scientific conferences and actively participate in production meetings to improve products and customer support.

5. Why did you choose a career at CST?

I found that I really like signaling, specifically insulin receptor and Akt signaling. It's so cool how parts of the cells communicate with each other and also how cells communicate with other cells. The complex nature of pathways, where they overlap, intersect, etc. is also interesting to try to tease apart. I used to work with a non-traditional model system, and I've realized it's so hard to do good science without good tools. So helping to manufacture better tools seems like a great way to contribute to science. I used many CST antibodies for my thesis work and I developed an appreciation for the company and its products.

6. What is your favorite thing about working at CST?

I cannot say enough about the fantastic people that I have the privilege of working with at CST. Of course they are very smart but they are also very friendly, helpful, and make the work environment more fun.

7. What is the most rewarding thing you've done in your career? At CST?

It is still early in my career but so far, finishing my Ph.D. is my most rewarding accomplishment. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to join the CST team. At CST, helping to make better antibodies/tools to help others do their work is a great way to contribute to science. On the technical support side, I can relate to customers' circumstances (grant deadlines, PI/thesis committee deadlines) and it feels good to help them troubleshoot their experiments.

8. What are your hobbies?

  • Anything pop culture (movies, music, tv, books).
  • 80’s music (gets it's own special mention because the music is so awesomely fun) – although his bay mates may disagree with this assessment.
  • Supporting the hometown teams, especially the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots
  • Learning to cook
  • Being a father means my major hobby is doing whatever my kids like to do (right now it's racing games and skee-ball)

Srikanth is just one of many CST employees we will feature over the next year – highlighting their role in the company, their interests, and accomplishments. We hope that this provides you some insight in to the corporate philosophy that permeates CST and why we put such emphasis on the quality of our products, technical support and marketing materials. Do you have a question you’d like to ask us? Ask a CST scientist today.

Chris Sumner
Chris Sumner
Chris Sumner was the Editor-in-Chief of Lab Expectations. When he's not reading/writing about curing disease, he's hiking in the woods, playing guitar, or searching for the world's best lobster roll.

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