The Faces of Luminex: Miranda Chavez, Manufacturing and QA Operations
As Luminex® has grown over the years, so have our manufacturing capabilities and the various operations supporting them. We are grateful for employees like Miranda Chavez, Project Manager for Global Manufacturing and Quality Assurance Operations, who keeps things running smoothly. The Austin native earned her bachelor’s in biochemistry at St. Edward’s University and has been with Luminex since 2008.
Q: What are your responsibilities at Luminex?
A: I’m responsible for leading global initiatives within Manufacturing and Quality Assurance. We have expanded manufacturing sites in multiple states and Canada, so the landscape of the opportunities I am involved in is broad, covering many different products, chemistries, and systems. My job is to see the big picture, identify issues before they become issues, and resolve these issues on a daily basis. In Manufacturing, there is never a dull moment. I’m not somebody who likes doing the same thing all the time, so this is a great fit for me.
Q: What did you do before this job?
A: I’ve held a number of different roles, mostly in Manufacturing Operations, in my time at Luminex. I started out working on microsphere bead dying and dye synthesis. In 2008, I began working on one of the first assays we designed and manufactured at the Austin site. That role opened up a lot of doors for me here. With my broad background, I have the agility to fill in gaps and respond quickly to operational needs.
Q: What drew you to Luminex?
A: I stumbled upon it by chance. It was shortly after I graduated, and I wanted to utilize my degree while I was in the process of applying to medical school. This was in the 2008 recession, when there were virtually no biotech jobs in the city of Austin. I eventually landed a position at Luminex, and I realized I could have a real impact on healthcare without working directly with patients and decided not to go to medical school after all.
Q: If you could solve any clinical or genetic challenge, what would it be?
A: If I could cure anything in this world, it would be cancer. I lost my little brother Richard to cancer when I was in high school. He was diagnosed at the age of 8. Watching him go through that and spending so much time in the hospital really changed my life. Today, I am a registered bone marrow donor. I make sure to stay up-to-date on my registration and hope that one day I will actually get a call and have the opportunity to save someone’s life.
Q: If you weren’t a project manager at Luminex, where would you be??
A: If I weren’t in the sciences, I could see myself doing something that incorporates my love for travel, like opening a tour guide company, a hostel, or a bed and breakfast. I bought a piece of land on an island in Belize a few years ago. Some days, I dream of selling everything and buying a one-way ticket to go off and explore the world.
Q: How are you handling not being able to travel with the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: I’m going crazy not traveling! I have used two vacation days all year. By this point in the year, I would normally have been to Belize at least three times, and I would have visited a new country.
Q: What is something about you that no one at Luminex knows?
A: Most people don’t know that I worked as a Sonic carhop. That was my first job at age 15 and I kept it for years to put myself through college. Yes, I did wear roller skates and no, I never fell. At first I didn’t know how to use the brakes very well, so I had to do circles in the parking lot to slow down.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do in Austin on the weekend?
A: I love live music. You can often find me at a local dive bar, like the jazz/blues club right by my house. But I also really enjoy being at home with my two cats, my Doberman pinscher pup, and the six chickens that I have in my backyard.