The Faces of Luminex: John Fox, Field Service
When a Luminex instrument has a glitch, customers know that a whole team of talented field service specialists are ready to hit the trenches and fix the problem. John Fox, Field Service Supervisor, oversees much of that work from his home base in Madison, Wisconsin. He joined the company in 2012 after spending several years working on Luminex platforms at a partner organization, where he spent time training customers to run assays and troubleshooting equipment that included Luminex products.
Q: What are your responsibilities at Luminex?
A: I oversee eight field service engineers, but I still carry a toolbox and have my own territory, which is Wisconsin and Illinois. Field service is critical because we’re the ones who keep the instruments running. We perform yearly preventive maintenance and act as the first line of field defense when customers experience any problems.
Q: How did you get started in field service?
A: I was a medical laboratory specialist and medic in the military. During that time, we couldn’t always get engineers out when equipment malfunctioned, so we had to troubleshoot and repair our own instruments. When I got out of the military, I headed to Chicago and eventually took a job with Beckman Coulter doing field service.
Q: What drew you to Luminex?
A: I spent six years with Alere, where I worked as an applications specialist training and troubleshooting assays for Luminex platforms. I wanted to get back to the engineering side, so when I heard about an opening at Luminex, I transferred. I was really fascinated by the multiplexing technology — how they took something that used to require multiple tests and hours of work and combined it into a single test. It’s really been amazing to watch how this technology has been used to improve patient care. It isn’t just about cool tech. There’s a human life at the end of every test.
Q: If you could solve any clinical or genetic challenge, what would it be?
A: Cancer affects everybody. Everyone in this world knows someone who was affected by cancer. Being able to do a simple blood test that would screen for everything, avoiding the need for mammograms and all the other tests we have now, would allow us to head off cancer in the earliest stages and create a better quality of life.
Q: If you weren’t at Luminex, where would you be?
A: I would probably own a food truck or a restaurant with my oldest daughter, who just graduated from culinary school. We’ve always talked about doing a barbecue setup with smoked meats. Our ultimate goal would be to send a minimum of 10% of the profits to organizations that support veterans.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do in Madison on the weekend?
A: Hanging out with the family. We cook out on our driveway every weekend when the weather cooperates, and our neighbors come by to eat with us. One neighbor made a sign that we put out near the driveway that says ‘The Outfront Bar and Grill.’