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Videos
 

Who are the Guardians of Your Science?

See how the Guardians saved a clinical laboratory after a destructive fire

Why do the Guardians recommend the AB Platinum instrument service plan?

 

Gian Marco Baranzoni

Gian Marco Baranzoni

Technical Application Specialist
Thermo Fisher Scientific

In the molecular biology lab at the Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli (IOR) in Bologna, technician Dr. Gabriella Gamberi encountered a series of sample runs resulting in low-quality reads. The lab’s important cancer diagnostics and research depended on the efficacy of the lab’s next-generation sequencing (NGS) workflow, so Dr. Gamberi reached out to Thermo Fisher Scientific technical application specialist Gian Marco Baranzoni. As part of Thermo Fisher’s team of dedicated TAS professionals providing remote support for instruments and consumables via phone, email, and on-demand digital support tools—helping resolve 70% of cases in minutes, not days—Gian Marco specializes in providing remote informatics assistance to scientists in the EMEA region.

An expert in NGS and other applications with Thermo Fisher since 2018, Gian Marco had already been supporting Dr. Gamberi and IOR with initialization issues and analysis failures; this time he was able to leverage his knowledge of both the lab’s Ion Torrent instrumentation as well as his experience in bioinformatics to troubleshoot and help solve the lab’s issues.

Thanks to Dr. Gamberi’s praise of Gian Marco’s support and his overall expertise and dedication to serving customers, he is being honored with this month’s Guardian of Your Science Award. Read our case study featuring interviews with both Dr. Gamberi and Gian Marco to learn more about how he helped IOR solve its sequencing dilemma and why he truly deserves to be named this month’s Thermo Fisher Guardian of Your Science.

See the case study

“Thanks to the numerous tips from Gian Marco, our NGS experiments with the Ion Chef and Ion GeneStudio S5 systems are going very well.”

- Gabriella Gamberi, PhD
Department of Pathology
Section of Molecular Biology
Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli

 

Featured guardians
Dan-final
Louis Tang
xiaojun-liu
yougang-hu
hailong-feng
binbin-zhu

Amalia Pozas Allúe

Amalia Pozas Allúe

A microbiology lab at the Hospital San Pedro de Alcántara in the city of Cáceres, Spain faced an unprecedented challenge at the height of the COVID-19 crisis: a national law had been passed requiring public health labs to pivot to SARS-CoV-2 surveillance testing. Not only did the lab have to turn its efforts toward meeting this urgent demand, it also had to add new instrumentation to meet the high sample throughput. As the liaison between the lab and Thermo Fisher Scientific—the company chosen to provide the new technologies and capabilities—lab technician Antonio Villanueva had to depend on Thermo Fisher’s support in transforming the lab to simultaneously bringing the new equipment online, transforming lab operations to perform new processes, and meeting critical societal needs during an unparalleled health crisis.

Fortunately for Antonio, Thermo Fisher Scientific was prepared to help meet these high-stakes needs with our white-glove Customer Concierge service. Antonio credits the success of the lab’s transformation directly to this service, and particularly to EMEA Customer Concierge specialist Amalia Pozas Allúe, this month’s recipient of our global Guardians of Your Science award for her above-and-beyond efforts for customers. As a Customer Concierge specialist and main point of contact for customers from order placement through site readiness, product delivery, installation, and training, she provides a comprehensive and tailored customer experience. She ​coordinates cross-functionally to connect customers to the right expert at the right time​, as well as providing guidance at each step of the customer journey to ensure successful product implementation.

Read the case study to find out from Antonio how Thermo Fisher’s Customer Concierge service and Amalia’s personalized care helped facilitate the transformation of his microbiology lab.

See the case study

“Amalia would reach out and get the information that we needed right away. On a scale from 1 to 10, I give her 100.”

- Antonio Villanueva
Microbiology Lab Technician
Hospital San Pedro de Alcántara

 

Marco Laredo

Marco Laredo

A major dilemma for science during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic is that the very tools needed to help fight the virus were located inside labs under lockdown. Case in point: when Dulce Ávila joined the Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology at Mexico’s Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute (Cinvestav) as a research assistant in February, 2020, the lab had just installed a brand new Applied Biosystems SeqStudio Genetic Analyzer—but within weeks, work in the lab was halted, Ávila and her colleagues were sent home, and the lab’s new instrument sat abandoned.

So when Cinvestav received a grant to reopen the lab many months later for a small team of researchers, including Ávila, to return and investigate the genome of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, the Thermo Fisher Scientific field application scientist charged with training the team, Marco Laredo, had concerns—it was unprecedented for a new instrument to sit for nearly a year unused: would it work? Would the consumables still be good? What additional needs would the coronavirus research application require?

Marco’s expertise in sequencing technologies and above-and-beyond efforts to enable the Cinvestav SARS-CoV-2 research project led the department to add a Thermo Fisher Scientific service plan for their SeqStudio instrument, and led Thermo Fisher Scientific to honor Marco with this month’s Guardian of Your Science award. Read our interview with Dulce Ávila to learn more about how Marco supported her team’s important research.

Download the case study

“Marco has been very helpful in solving problems and connecting us with the right people at Thermo Fisher. When it comes to asking him anything, I feel very comfortable. Marco is very professional. He knows sequencing, and he’s very kind and respectful, a very good person. I would recommend him to colleagues, and I would tell them that they are in good hands.”

- Dulce Ávila
Research Assistant, Cinvestav

 


Jimmy Balan

Jimmy Balan

Field Service Engineer
Thermo Fisher Scientific

Scott Allen

Scott Allen

Field Service Engineer
Thermo Fisher Scientific

Jason Pepper

Jason Pepper

Field Service Engineer
Thermo Fisher Scientific

In the summer of 2020, the team of Thermo Fisher Scientific field service engineers (FSEs) from the southeastern region of the US took on a challenge unlike anything anyone on the services and support team had seen before. Working together in the face of uncertainty, FSEs Jimmy Balan, Scott Allen, and Jason Pepper helped a laboratory rebuild from a devastating fire, restoring equipment necessary for the laboratory to quickly return to supporting its clients.

Dr. Catherine Dumur, vice president of molecular diagnostics and NGS development at Bernhardt Laboratories in Jacksonville, Florida, received a call informing her that the laboratory had tragically caught on fire in the middle of the night. In the wake of the disaster, Dr. Dumur immediately contacted Thermo Fisher Scientific. The next day Jimmy, Scott, and Jason were on-site, helping Dr. Dumur and her team work towards getting a satellite laboratory up and running. The entire mission was accomplished in just a few months.

Learn more about the team’s incredible effort in this powerful video, featuring images from the site and interviews with Dr. Dumur and the general manager of Bernhardt Laboratories, Jorge Almenara, PhD, as well as with our Guardians as they tell the story of what it took to save a laboratory in unprecedented times.

“The Thermo Fisher Field Service Engineers are very good at responding very quickly, and addressing all of my concerns, which are many and very pressing. And they know me. And I know them, and I can trust them. Because they always fix the problems, always. They never leave me hanging.

Without the diligence of Thermo Fisher engineers, we would not have been able to achieve the goal of establishing a lab in 6–8 months. We exceeded our goal and were up running in less than three months.”

- Catherine Dumur, PHD, HCLD (ABB)
Vice President of Molecular Diagnostics and NGS development


Dan LaFlamme

Dan LaFlamme

In 2020, Heather Wood was, in her own words, stressed out. She’d left academic research for her first job managing a private sector lab, which was so new it barely had supplies—it didn’t even have chairs yet. At the same time, she needed to help the lab quickly implement clinical testing and meet the demands of a tough and complex regulatory environment. Fortunately, she turned to the company whose instruments they’d chosen, Thermo Fisher Scientific, to provide analytical validation services under the leadership of Field Application scientist (FAS) supervisor Dan LaFlamme.

Dan LaFlamme, an accomplished professional with a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology and decades of experience managing genetics labs, helped Wood’s lab, Catalyst Diagnostic, navigate the challenges of validating its new molecular tests. By providing the training, tools, resources, and support to conduct required experiments and create compliance documentation for regulators, LaFlamme and his team saved Catalyst precious time, helped them make the grade, and impressed Wood and her colleagues with his expertise, calm under pressure, and resolve to go the extra mile for them. It’s because of these actions and qualities that Dan is being honored as a Thermo Fisher Scientific Guardian of Your Science.

Read our interview with Dr. Wood to learn more about why she considers LaFlamme a “pivotal” part of her team and why she recommends Thermo Fisher’s analytical validation services to any lab seeking CLIA approval and/or CAP accreditation.

Download the case study

“Our company worked with the Thermo Fisher analytical validation (AV) services to enable us to validate the testing for SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19) using the TaqPath COVID-19 combo kit on the QuantStudio 12 K Flex platform. Additionally, we worked with professional services to enable us to validate seven large custom infectious disease research panels using OpenArray technology. The experience we had with the Thermo Fisher AV is truly unmatched! It was incredible how fast we were able to be ready to bring on new clients and begin testing samples. This was extremely important as we were a brand-new company. There is truly no way we would have been able to validate so many panels in the necessary timeframe without the help of Thermo Fisher’s AV services. The AV services were very comprehensive to include the AV plan, controls, expertise, data analysis, validation summary templates, and standard operating procedure templates. The service and professionalism of the staff made the experience all the better. After all the time we spent working with this group I feel I can call them friends. I would without a doubt recommend Thermo Fisher’s analytical validation services!”

- Heather Wood
Technical Laboratory Director, Catalyst Diagnostic


Meng Zhang

Meng Zhang

Meng Zhang is a Field Service Engineer (FSE) serving Thermo Fisher customers in Northeast China. He received his Masters degree in Engineering in the United States at West Virginia University and worked as an analyst with the Chinese National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Meng has been with Thermo Fisher since 2016, specializing in servicing qPCR, CE, and NGS instruments as well as flow cytometers, imaging systems, and nucleic acid purification systems.  

During the tense and uncertain days of early 2020, as the SARS-CoV-2 virus first began to spread, a clinical lab at a large hospital in Northeast China needed to quickly pivot to large-scale testing. Meng performed critical on-site tasks for the installation of a new instrument to help the hospital scale up quickly to meet government requirements and to keep up with the escalating crisis.

Download the case study to read our interviews with Meng as well as with the hospital’s laboratory technician who was Meng’s main point of contact for the project. Find out why she considers Meng an exceptional FSE, and how—in spite of personal risk—he went above and beyond for the lab, insisting on doing the installation in person to help ensure the integrity of the results. You’ll learn why Meng deserves the honor he has received as this month’s Thermo Fisher Services and Support Guardian of Your Science.

Download the case study

“We would definitely recommend Meng and Thermo Fisher to colleagues. Our instruments run smoothly, and the results are very reliable. Lab productivity increased because of the additional instrument and thanks to Meng.”

- Lab technician, 
Clinical Lab, 
Northeast China 


Bruno Nozima

Bruno Nozima

Bruno Nozima is a technical application specialist (TAS) serving South American Thermo Fisher customers. He received his PhD in Biological Sciences from the Federal University of São Paulo, with an emphasis in oncology research. Nozima started his career with Thermo Fisher Scientific in 2017.

Before and during the SARS-CoV-2 crisis, Nozima was enlisted to provide remote support for an environmental science researcher at the University of São Paulo, who had been trying to replicate an experiment to support the study of the detoxification mechanisms of an ecologically important genus of swimming crab. The researcher could not generate similar results and couldn’t figure out why.

Through weekly virtual meetings and follow-up calls over the course of six months, Nozima used the Thermo Fisher Cloud remote support tool to walk the customer through extensive troubleshooting, helping identify flaws in the initial experiment, and ultimately develop better procedures. The customer—who had limited molecular biology knowledge and no experience using PCR or conducting sequencing—quickly learned and mastered sequencing using the Applied Biosystems QuantStudio 3 Real-Time PCR System.

Download the case study to read our interview with the customer, Isabella Bordon, PhD, to find out why she considers Nozima a Guardian of your Science, how he helped her get the results that saved her research, and why she says her self-esteem as a scientist increased as a result. You’ll learn why Nozima deserves the honor he has received as this month’s Thermo Fisher Services and Support Guardians of your Science.

Download the case study

“Bruno understood our lab’s problems immediately and provided solutions as quickly as he could. We had spent a year trying to understand our mistakes, and he delivered solutions in a month. We are very thankful for his pro-activity.”

- Isabella Bordon, PhD,
Environmental science researcher,
University of São Paulo,
São Paulo, Brazil


Stéphane Llense

Stephane Llense

Stéphane Llense is a field application scientist serving our customers in the Greater Paris Metropolitan Region. He specializes in helping customers implement capillary electrophoresis and next-generation sequencing (NGS) systems. Stéphane joined the company in 2007 after 15 years as a genetic researcher in the Department of Molecular Biology at Cochin Hospital in Paris. He studied molecular biology at the Ecole Pratique Des Hautes Etudes and Lycée Ecole Supérieure Technique Biologie Appliquee.

To meet the demands of the SARS-CoV-2 crisis, Biopath Laboratoires in Paris needed to create a de novo next-generation sequencing (NGS) department with high-capacity testing, so they sought advice and help from Thermo Fisher Scientific. The lab, which had never used NGS technology, wanted to implement it as soon as possible, with the aim of generating 1,000 tests per week. Stéphane rose to the challenge, helping plan and deliver training and support to meet their rapid and high-volume production goals.

Weeks before the training, Stéphane conducted several calls with the lab to help ensure they met all of the implementation pre-requirements. Then he conducted a week of training to familiarize them with the entire workflow. To help meet their target, he spent an additional week with Biopath, increasing their sample analyses from 120 per week to 1,500 samples by the end of the week—a throughput level that would have historically required about a month to work up to. In addition, because he was communicating directly with the customer for weeks, Stéphane also functioned as their single point of contact with Thermo Fisher Scientific, organizing calls between Biopath and other Thermo Fisher Scientific teams to facilitate a smooth start to their NGS efforts.

Read the customer case study, featuring interviews with Stéphane and Biopath technical director and medical biologist, Hugues Leroy, to learn more about how Stéphane went the extra mile for his customer during a critical time, and why he is truly a guardian of science.

Download the case study

“If another lab was going to have Stéphane as their FAS for a project, I would tell them that they are in good hands—that they couldn’t be in better hands than with Stéphane. Again, he has been fundamental to our success, and that is something that I could say without any reservation to any laboratory.”

 

-Hugues Leroy,
Technical Director and Medical Biologist,
Biopath


Brunie White

Brunie White

Brunie White is a Field Application Scientist serving our customers in southern United States. She provides molecular diagnostics training and troubleshooting support to clinical customers and public health partners. Brunie White joined Thermo Fisher in 2018 with a background as a health scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and earned her Ph.D. in molecular genetics at the University of Georgia.

At the height of the pandemic, Thermo Fisher provided the instruments, kits, and infrastructure needed to bring COVID-19 testing to Xavier University in New Orleans through the Just Project—a program helping address the impact of the virus in the United States on campuses of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Brunie White was there for Xavier University, helping get their new lab up and running, quickly and efficiently.

Read the customer case study, featuring an interview with Xavier University medical technologist Dijon Wilson, to learn more about how Brunie goes above and beyond for her customers, and why she truly is, a Guardian of Science.

Download the case study

“Brunie was always available and very clear in her solutions, very knowledgeable and a great teacher”

– Dean Djeddar,

Laboratory Manager,

Oxy-Gen Laboratory


Gayoung Kim

Gayoung Kim

Gayoung Kim is a Technical Applications Scientist serving our customers in the South Korea region with professional technical support. Her area of expertise is reagents for genomic applications, such as RNA and gDNA prep kits and products for TALEN-based genome editing. Gayoung joined Thermo Fisher with a background of seven years of research in the fields of immunology and neuroscience. She has been with Thermo Fisher for four years and is particularly adept at troubleshooting customer issues.

When a customer wasn’t getting the results she had come to expect with Invitrogen Lipofectamine RNAiMAX Transfection Reagent, Gayoung initiated an investigation that stretched all the way across the globe to Carlsbad, California, and led to the identification of counterfeit products entering the Korean market. Read the case study to learn about Gayoung Kim, the crime-fighting Technical Application Scientist and an authentic guardian of science.

Download the case study

“Gayoung quickly confirmed whether a product purchased by a customer was authentic. She collected the relevant evidence and supported the efforts of the legal and sales teams to take additional actions to help customers obtain safe and reliable products. Gayoung is a true Global Services and Support guardian, who has protected the Lipofectamine market and customers.”

– Jayoung Song (Joen Song),

Manager, Technical Application Specialists

Life Sciences Solutions Group


John Pfeifer

John Pfeifer

Meet John Pfeifer, your real-time PCR expert. With the goal of improving lab efficiencies, John partners with his customers to provide training, troubleshooting, pre-sales, seminars, and consulting services. Whether it’s getting you started with real-time PCR, designing an optimal workflow, or troubleshooting assay issues, John is there to support your journey to discovery. Also, by assisting customers through the complexities of real-time PCR remotely, he can provide a solution in a matter of hours instead of days, so you can focus on your next scientific breakthrough. As a senior real-time PCR Field Application Scientist, John has 30 years of leading industry experience at Thermo Fisher Scientific- experience that his customers rely on.

Real-time PCR can appear simple, so it is widely used in molecular labs. But for many popular real-time PCR applications, data problems are not obvious. See how John has addressed these common problems in labs like yours.

Download the case study

“John Pfeifer was very helpful in troubleshooting our assay problems. Through his investigation, we uncovered errors on our part that contributed to the failure of the assay. John has given us many recommendations for procedural changes that should substantially reduce the chances for contamination. John has also assured us through a side-by-side comparison of experiments…that we do not have a problem with our…Instrument. If anyone here still thinks there’s a problem, I’ll let them talk to John again!”

– PhD Microbiologist, US Government Lab


Ben Avery

Ben Avery

Meet Ben Avery, your real-time PCR and digital PCR expert—and this month’s Thermo Fisher Scientific “guardian of your science.” A graduate from North Carolina State University with a BS and MS in in zoology, Ben has been with Thermo Fisher Scientific for just over a year, bringing to the FAS team his extensive experience with assay development and background working in regulated labs.

Ben’s expertise in assay design, instrument training, and providing ongoing support to a wide variety of customers performing work in molecular biology has led Thermo Fisher Scientific to honor Ben with this month’s Guardian of Your Science award.

In light of receiving this honor, Ben is hosting the first ever Guardians of Your Science: Ask the Expert webinar, focused on assay design for primers and probes. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about Thermo Fisher Scientific’s extensive portfolio of tools available for assay design, including more than 20 million predesigned Applied Biosystems TaqMan Assays.

This webinar was recorded live on May 24, 2022 and is now available on demand!

Watch now

“The service, training, and troubleshooting I received from Thermo Fisher was invaluable for my research. The Invitrogen Cells-to-CT kit was so quick, simple, and easy to use; it was a game changer. With Ben’s input, training, and troubleshooting, I was able to complete my project and dissertation and am currently working on publications.”

- Eva Schenkman,
PhD and President of ARTLAB,
premier IVF training and consulting services

 


Louis Tang

Louis Tang

You probably know you can learn a lot from your genes, from your allergies to your ethnic background. But did you know that scientists are studying how genetics can help people understand their potential susceptibility to disease and response to medication? One of the largest current studies in this area is the Taiwan Precision Medicine Initiative (TPMI), a key research project consisting of 1 million participants designed to develop algorithms to predict disease risk and drug response that can help to focus the future of health care resources on improving outcomes and managing costs.

At Thermo Fisher Scientific, our Global Services and Support team in Taiwan has been supporting this effort, with a notable individual standout, whom we are honoring this month with our Guardian of Your Science award: Louis Tang—a Thermo Fisher Scientific field bioinformatics scientist supporting Applied Biosystems Axiom microarray design, optimization, and data analysis in the Taiwan region—has been instrumental in providing above-and-beyond service for the scientists working on the TPMI. With degrees in Computing Science and Agricultural Chemistry and over a decade as a researcher at Taiwan’s National Center for Genomic Medicine (NCGM), Academia Sinica, Louis joined Thermo Fisher Scientific in 2018 and returned to the NCGM to support their use of microarray technologies for the TPMI.

The TPMI’s goal is to use the custom microarray that Louis helped develop to genotype one million participants. By analyzing a million people's genotype data and medical records, TPMI can create models to predict Taiwanese people’s risk for common diseases and adverse drug reactions, and help the nation develop customized health care for all Taiwanese people. As part of our celebration of his stellar support of this ambitious project, we spoke with Louis about his work, and interviewed the Assistant Director at the National Center for Genome Medicine, Academia Sinica, Dr. Ling-Hui Li. Read the interview to learn more about the project and how, according to Dr. Li, Louis’ “major contribution” made him seem like “a part of [their] team."

See the case study

“From the very beginning of this project, Louis has made a major contribution by helping us finalize the SNP array.”

-Dr. Ling-Hui Li,
Assistant Director at the National
Center for Genome Medicine,
Academia Sinica

 


xiaojun-liu

Xiaojun Liu

Field Service Engineer
Thermo Fisher Scientific

yougang-hu

Yougang Hu

Field Service Engineer
Thermo Fisher Scientific

hailong-feng

Hailong Feng

Field Service Engineer
Thermo Fisher Scientific

binbin-zhu

Binbin Zhu

Field Service Engineer
Thermo Fisher Scientific

The Olympic Village at the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing faced a serious security challenge: protect the athletes and staff from a potential COVID-19 outbreak by testing approximately 30,000 samples each day in highly limited lab space that had to be quickly constructed on-site for the event. The independent testing lab chosen to take on the project turned to Thermo Fisher Scientific for help, not only with gold-standard PCR testing on Applied Biosystems QuantStudio systems, but also in organizing the field service engineer (FSE) support team charged with installing and calibrating all 33 instruments in a single day.

For 15 intensive work hours, the four-person FSE team—Xiaojun Liu, Yougang Hu, Hailong Feng, and Binbin Zhu—divided the responsibilities for the implementation and conquered them all, overcoming multiple logistical challenges including sub-freezing weather. Against these unprecedented odds, the team completed the installation on time and got all the instruments up and running properly—and the games went forward without a major outbreak.

Read our interview with these four impressive FSE heroes to get the details of their experience and to find out how they protected the Olympic Village and earned this month’s Guardians of Your Science award.

See the case study

 

Who’s the guardian helping to protect your instruments?

 

You’re gaining ground and making advancements with every step. It’s a lot of pressure, but you have the knowledge. We want to hear how our Guardians have supported your scientific journeys along the way. Nominate the service and support team member that has backed your brilliance and they could become our next featured Guardian.

Submit my nomination

 

Guardians in action

The Amplitude Solutions team helps implement COVID-19 testing for a major state university hospital.

 

Alyssa MacMillan
Alyssa MacMillan
Field Application Scientist | Amplitude Solution
Ana Quevedo
Ana Quevedo
Field Application Scientist | Amplitude Solution
Devon Spinelli
Devon Spinelli
Field Service Engineer | Amplitude Solution

“Thermo Fisher Scientific was such an integral part in our start and our COVID lab stand-up. Thank you for getting us started, keeping us going, getting us everything you possibly could, and making an amazing vendor partner!”

- Research & Development Coordinator,
Molecular Pathology Laboratory,
State University Hospital

 

Discover more ways to protect your instruments

 


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