Research & Development Scientist

Keith Yaeger

I attended UW- Madison for 3 semesters but dropped out because of poor grades, lack of money, and indecision about career goals. I learned of the MATC Biotechnology Laboratory Technician program from a program graduate. I graduated in two and a half years while working part time. I am very happy with quality of education from MATC and with my career choice.

Biotechnology Education

Biotechnology Program: 
Madison Area Technical College
Degree or certificate: 
Biotechnology Associates degree

Employer information

Novagen, Inc.

Madison, WI

Employer description: 

Novagen, Inc. is a company dedicated to providing state-of-the-art products and services to scientists in the worldwide biomedical research community. Novagen is focused on developing and commercializing advanced reagents for the isolation, expression, analysis, and purification of genes and their protein products.

What does this job involve?

Job Description and Responsibilities: 

My work in the DNA group includes:

  • DNA purification
  • Protein expression and purification
  • Fermentation
  • DNA amplification
  • DNA sequencing
  • I maintain a database containing DNA sequences
  • I am responsible for operation and maintenance of robotic equipment
  • Communicate with peers and supervisors
  • Meeting participation;
  • Progress reports and Poster presentations
Commonly Used Skills and Techniques: 

One must be able to work as part of a group or independently; deal with frustrations of things not working and deadline pressures; and be able to present ideas.

Rewards and Challenges

What do you find most rewarding about this job?: 

I feel I am on the cutting edge of scientific discovery. There is lots of job satisfaction.

What is the most challenging part of your job?: 

The length of the projects can be frustrating. It is disappointing when experiments don't turn out as expected.

Other thoughts: 

Quote: Stay focused. There's a lot going on; don't try to do everything. Be aware of surroundings but stay focused on what you're working on. Pay attention to detail. Don't assume something is 100% sure. Look for differences and discrepancies.Remain flexible. Things constantly change and priorities change.


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