I am a DNA Sequencing Scientist at GENEWIZ. Our laboratory, which is a satellite lab, is responsible for cultivating and purifying customer-supplied bacterial plasmids as well as purifying DNA from PCR reactions. We then optimize the DNA to obtain the best quality sequence for customers. We also prepare bacterial colonies that express desired inserts for further analysis upon request. Because of my experience in a multi-lab project while at the North Carolina Department of Agriculture (NCDA), I am also responsible for most quality control testing and documentation in our satellite lab.
A former colleague of mine, and current Registered Microbiologist, first introduced me to the NRCM and suggested that I become a Registrant. This suggestion came one day after a string of long days of working on a method validation. After some deliberation and a bit of apprehension, I decided to attempt certification to demonstrate my competency. While studying for the exam, I found that I had the chance to expound upon current knowledge in Microbiology, as the exam required information outside my normal scope of activities.
Obtaining certification offers many benefits. For example, shortly after becoming a Registrant, I was appointed to the NRCM exam development committee for the Food Safety and Quality Exam. This honor has given me a deeper sense of community with Food Microbiologists across the United States while challenging me to stay abreast of current topics in terms of the exam. Becoming a Registered Microbiologist has been a great accomplishment for me and I am eager to see how it further burgeons my career.
Semaj McIver, RM(NRCM), DNA Sequencing Scientist, GENEWIZ, Research Triangle Park, NC; he achieved his certification in 2011.
Copyright© National Registry of Certified Microbiologists. Reprinted from The Loop, 2013, Issue 1.