Speakers' Bureau Directory: ZANTO

Degree: Masters (MA or MS)
Employer: Montana Public Health Laboratory
HELENA, Montana  59601


Primary Employer: Agricultural/Veterinary; Other N/A
Scientific Specialty: Public Health; Other N/A
Job Title: Deputy Laboratory Director and Lab System Improvement Section Supervisor
Years in position: 4 years in this position, 28 years in public health laboratory science
Presentation Type: N/A
Video Call Type:N/A
Day to day responsibilities:
The Deputy Laboratory Director is needed for surge capacity and emergency response, and acts in the absence of the Laboratory Bureau Chief as assigned. This position provides leadership for several Bureau-wide programs, specifically, for oversight of quality assurance programs as part of a laboratory quality management system, including those required for certification by CLIA and EPA, and for oversight of the bureau safety program. This position oversees laboratory system improvement activities, the laboratory training program, the biopreparedness program, and is the liaison for the bureau for management of laboratory information systems. This position is responsible for assuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations, for assistance in policy development and implementation, for personnel management and development, for management of grant programs and budgets, for assistance in contracting and other procurement processes, and for coordination with public and private health care partners. This position collaborates with epidemiologists, infectious disease physicians, and other providers of health care as a subject matter expert for public health laboratory testing and is part of a management team that determines test method selection, test development, validation and verification and the procurement of any needed instrumentation.

What do you love about your job?
I love my job because every day there is something new to experience and learn - be it a new method, a new pathogen, or a new way to optimize processes. I get great personal satisfaction in consulting with health care providers and public health professionals about laboratory testing and the value of public health laboratory science to their practices.

Degrees, experience, license(s), and skills required for position:
Clinical Laboratory Scientist or Specialist (Bench level):
Bachelor’s degree in a biological, chemical, or physical science related field (to include but not limited to medical or clinical laboratory science, medical technology, chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, biology, immunology), and 2 years related laboratory work experience such as high complexity clinical laboratories, environmental laboratories and research laboratories.

Because Montana is a licensure state, must be licensed or license eligible by the Montana Board of Clinical Laboratory Science Practitioners as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist or Clinical Laboratory Specialist.

Program Managers must have more years of experience, and my Deputy Laboratory Director position gives preference to those that have at least a Master's degree in the sciences listed above or in Public Health.

Tips/Advice for how to secure a job in microbiology upon graduation:
Become a member of a professional organization, even as a student. You will have opportunities to grow both professionally and personally, and getting to know your colleagues in that organization will provide a great resource when you are looking for employment.

Know if you plan on working in a medical laboratory in a licensure state, and prepare yourself to obtain additional training and/or education to make yourself eligible for licensure.

Learn about the various opportunities a degree in microbiology can afford you. Check out various websites and see what interests you - be it clinical practice, environmental microbiology, research, industrial microbiology, or many other professions. A degree in microbiology prepares you for a great many careers.