Areas of expertise
+ Maintenance and breeding of rodent colonies
+ Culture of preimplantation embryos
+ Embryo micromanipulation and cryopreservation (mice/rats)
+ Rodent surgery
+ Mouse IVF/ART procedures
+ Transgenic production
+ Animal procurement
+ Technical services
+ Assisted reproduction
What are your responsibilities at Envigo?
I microinject and nucleofect constructs and assist with in vitro fertilization and cryopreservation products. I also coordinate rederivation efforts for cleanup, order models for all different projects on site, and schedule and manage the transgenic services facility so everything runs smoothly for all of us.
What inspired you to pursue a career in science?
I've always been interested in science. That interest grew from anatomy in high school, to genetics and biology in college, to animal models from human diseases. I prefer working with rodents because their small size make them easier to work with and their short duration of pregnancies makes the results come faster than with larger animals. I tend to prefer the rats over the mice. They're so complex, intelligent, and have a memory and intricate behaviors. If you've been taking care of them, they get used to you and don't mind being handled.
What are some of the key attributes of being successful in your role?
We have a lot of projects that sometimes take a long time to come to fruition. They say patience is a virtue and I think it's also a must have in our line of work. We all like to see things pay off quickly, but sometimes our work can take months to realize results. So, patience is key. That and a heavy-duty belief in yourself and your teammates that you're doing everything that needs to be done to achieve a desired outcome, success. Also, to have a desire to do good and make a difference. That's why I've always done this. It's a good use of my time and talents.
What are some other favorite aspects of your job?
Being able to take part in the greater good. It feels good when you've been involved in a project that's larger than you. Envigo facilitates research and that's what my team and I do. I've been in this a long time. My graduate work was in medical genetics, so I've seen a lot of the human disorders for which we make these models. I've known people with some of those disorders who are, unfortunately, no longer here. Our contributions could lead to an eventual solution to those problems and make a different in people's lives.
What are some of your favorite things to do outside of Envigo?
I'm into a variety of things. I've been a lifelong jogger and runner. I work out a lot at the YMCA and like to go hiking with my son on the weekends. That's always fun. I'm a fairly avid reader. I read a lot of scientific material at work, so I like to put that down and pick up science fiction and fantasy titles when I'm home.
What are some of your personal goals?
I am a certified ACE (American Council on Exercise) Personal Trainer and Weight Management Specialist. I don't have a lot of time right now, but I am always looking at the next possible thing. I'd like to help the elderly, overweight, and those suffering from diseases - like Parkinson's or cancer - with nutrition and exercise. Both require special diets and movement. It's important to keep a positive attitude and continue to try, even in the face of adversity. Helping them achieve that appeals to me.
Contact us today if you have a question for Joe or would like to discover more about our transgenic and reproductive services.