The Faces of Luminex: Heather Darby, LTG Field Applications
The partners who develop new assays based on our xMAP® Technology through Luminex’s Licensed Technologies Group (LTG) are incredibly dedicated and creative — but even they need help with applications development from time to time. That’s where Heather Darby, Field Applications Scientist, comes in. She joined Luminex in 2015 and holds bachelor and master degrees from Texas A&M University in animal science and vet physiology.
Q: What are your responsibilities at Luminex?
A: I support the LTG sales team by working with customers on the technical aspects of our xMAP Technology. This can range from making sales calls as a scientific consultant to working side-by-side with a customer in their lab to drive adoption of the technology and support their in-house assay development. I’m also working to establish an in-house lab that would allow us to offer custom development services on a case-by-case basis.
Q: What did you do before this job?
A: I was previously on the molecular diagnostics side of Luminex, and absolutely loved my time there. It was an incredibly rich team environment, and I am extremely lucky to stay connected to them despite my move. Before joining Luminex, I did field applications for a Luminex partner, Fujirebio (previously Innogenetics), and assay development work for Radix Biosolutions. At Texas A&M, I worked in the lab that cloned the first horse in North America, and brought a new focus on biomarker analysis to them with my graduate project.
Q: What drew you to Luminex?
A: I’ve spent my career orbiting Luminex while at partner companies, and have always been attracted to the size of the company and obsessed with the elegance of the technology. I fell into beads just by chance in accepting a position at Radix out of grad school, but I’m so happy that brought me into the Luminex world. I’d made some great contacts during my time with partner companies, so Luminex immediately felt comfortable when I finally joined.
Q: If you weren’t a field applications scientist at Luminex, where would you be?
A: The travel-and-science lifestyle is such a natural fit for me, and so ingrained at this point. I’m sure I would find a similar role wherever I landed. I just have to travel to customers and share my science with them — it’s a sickness!
Q: If you could solve any clinical or genetic challenge, what would it be?
A: Alzheimer’s disease hits close to home for me, and working for four years at the leading company in Alzheimer’s diagnostics certainly reinforced that. I would love to see a true cure come to light that can reverse the neuronal damage and allow patients to reclaim their lives and, most importantly, their memories.
Q: What is something about you that no one at Luminex knows?
A: Bill Murray once bought me a beer.
Q: The Bill Murray?
A: Yes! I was very lucky, and we just happened to be in the right place at the right time during SXSW.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do in Austin on the weekend?
A: Soccer is definitely my life outside of work, and my weekends are spent playing, going to games, or watching on TV. The soccer community in Austin is relatively small but incredibly kind and lively — they’re definitely my second family.