The Faces of Luminex: Brian Walsh, Technical Applications

We work hard to deliver robust systems and consumables to our customers, but even with the best quality control, occasional hiccups are unavoidable. That’s why we count on Brian Walsh, Technical Applications Specialist, to work closely with our customers and address any issues they may encounter. He joined Luminex in 2018, and holds a PhD in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology from the University of Michigan, as well as a bachelor’s in microbiology and molecular genetics from Michigan State University.

The Faces of Luminex: Brian Walsh, Technical Applications

Q: What are your responsibilities at Luminex?

A: Anytime a customer runs into a problem with an instrument or an assay, they’re encouraged to call us. We assist with general training, instrument and assay troubleshooting, and coordinating any technical requests. I don’t think you could quite call our group the face of Luminex, as nobody sees us, but I suppose we function pretty well as the mouth and ears.

Q: How did you get into this type of work?

A: I’ve always enjoyed solving problems and fixing things. With respect to scientific instrumentation, in graduate school, I was troubleshooting assays and instruments on my own, and assisted others doing the same. Eventually, my troubleshooting skills led me down this career path.

Q: What did you do before this job?

A: I worked at a patent law firm that, oddly enough, serves as Luminex’s outside counsel. I was a scientific advisor, drafting a lot of patents and coordinating with the attorneys on patent prosecution. I wound up there because the genomics company I worked at previously was acquired, and I was warned that my position might be on the chopping block. Management suggested that I speak with the firm’s outside counsel because I was managing the company’s intellectual property at the time, so I sent them an email asking for career advice and got a job offer instead.

Q: What drew you to Luminex?

A: I was looking to get back into a role that was more hands-on scientifically, and have more communication with other scientists.

Q: If you weren’t a technical applications specialist at Luminex, where would you be?

A: During one of those mid-college existential crises everybody has, I told my father that I wanted to be a journalist, like him. He emphatically reminded me that with the way journalism and publishing were going, it would be smart to find something else to do. At this point, I’ve been in science for so long I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Q: If you could solve any clinical or genetic challenge, what would it be?

A: The obesity epidemic. I think it contributes extremely heavily to the bulk of other health problems that people are seeing, especially in the developed world.

Q: What is something about you that no one at Luminex knows?

A: I’ve run four 100-mile foot races, finishing as fast as just under 24 hours. I’ve probably done 60 or 70 marathons and 20 or 25 ultramarathons. I guess I like anything that includes a large quantity of suffering (i.e., graduate school).

Q: What is something about you that no one at Luminex knows?

A: I spend a lot of time running and rock climbing. There are a bunch of good trails within the city limits and a surprising amount of outdoor sport climbing.

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