The Luminex R&D teams for hardware, software, reagents, and assays operate mostly independently—which means we need great scientists to pull each of these elements together and ensure a seamless user experience. For this, we rely on Robin Murphy, Scientist II, who has been part of our family since 2006. He earned a bachelor’s in chemistry and geography from Texas State University, a master’s in biotechnology, with a focus in biodefense and biosecurity, and an MBA from the University of Maryland.
Q: What are your responsibilities at Luminex?
A: When I joined Luminex, I started in the chemistry group and worked there for 10 years. Then I moved over into the systems integration group in hardware R&D. In this group, we take the hardware, software, assays, and reagents—everything that needs to play nicely on our instruments—and ensure that it all works together. We are constantly testing different iterations and seeing what needs to be changed to accomplish this.
Q: What did you do before this job?
A: This was my first job out of school. I got lucky landing the position I did, because coming out of school, you pretty much take whatever job you can get. Joining Luminex has allowed me to stay here and grow within the company.
Q: What drew you to Luminex?
A: Chemistry jobs in the Austin area are somewhat limited, so finding a job that aligned with my education and interests and allowed me to stay in Austin was a major draw. I didn’t know too much about the company when I started. It was much smaller then—maybe a tenth of the size it is now.
Q: If you weren’t a scientist at Luminex, where would you be?
A: I do a lot of sports stuff for fun, so maybe something like sports management for local teams.
Q: If you could solve any clinical or genetic challenge, what would it be?
A: When I was in school for my masters in biotechnology, a lot of our work had to do with the coming ethics of genetic testing and consumer services, which allow people to get their human genome sequenced quickly and affordably. A lot of these ethical issues remain unsolved, and it’s becoming more important daily. We’re going to have to decide, for example, whether insurance companies or employers should have access to that information.
Q: What is something about you that no one at Luminex knows?
A: I made it to the final round of tryouts for Jeopardy! thanks to a wide array of useless information stored in my head. I think I tanked my audition when I accidentally said an expletive during a practice game.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do in Austin on the weekend?
A: So much of my time revolves around my kids and family—driving to swim meets or dance competitions. We also like to watch sports events and go to local games. We go to a lot of Texas Longhorn games, and have season tickets to the San Antonio Spurs.