Bioanalysis Zone

A day in the life of… Katy McQuate, Charles River

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Women in Bioanalysis

Katy McQuate

Katy McQuate

Senior Chemist at Charles River (OH, USA).

Brief biography:

Katy McQuate, aged 31, is a proud mother of one ornery toddler and the wife of an amazing husband.  She lives in the ‘suburbs’ of Widowville (OH, USA) (population:  seven houses), in a place remote enough that even cell service and internet are luxuries. Her current role is Senior Chemist with Charles River Ashland and has a BS degree in Molecular Biology. She started as a Biologist with WIL Research (OH, USA) in 2008 and has grown her career through taking on different roles within laboratory science and joined Charles River through the WIL Research acquisition in 2016.

My alarm goes off…

During the week, first thing in the morning, I like to get in a little alone time on the elliptical before my toddler and husband wake up.  While getting the family ready to go, I like to try to squeeze in a bowl of oatmeal or cereal, but it usually gets hijacked by my son before I get all the way through it. On days that I work in the office, I usually swing by work to pick up a friend and we grab some coffee from our favorite barista before heading back to get some actual work done.

I’m responsible for…

Currently, my role includes a lot of teamwork, helping the other chemists and principal investigators to make sure that projects are getting started on the right foot and moving along smoothly once they get up and running.  I also serve as the primary trainer for the department for new chemists coming in, which is a fun challenge!

My typical day…

Honestly, for me, there is no typical day!  My days usually start with the customary checking of email, but after that, my day is filled with helping wherever I am most needed.  Generally, I spend a lot of my time helping to get projects set-up, whether it’s writing laboratory methods or ordering supplies.

The strangest thing that has happened…

Halloweens in the office can be kind of strange.  There have been several years in the past that our group has participated in group costume competitions.  The most fun was probably the ‘Awkward Family Photo’, when we all dressed up awkwardly and posed for what would definitely have been an awkward family photo.

The best part of my job…

The best part of my job (other than my awesome co-workers) is knowing that I’m positively impacting the lives of those around me.  A couple of years ago, my grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Shortly after that, we began the bioanalysis portion of a clinical trial for a cancer drug specifically targeting prostate cancer.  It’s very rewarding to know that the work we do every day is helping to improve people’s lives.

The worst part of my job…

There isn’t really a worst part of my job. Currently, I’m pretty happy with most aspects of my role.

After work…

After work (and before and during…), I’m a full time mom! I have a very active toddler who loves to be the center of Mom’s attention, so all the hobbies that I had before I had a kid are pretty much history!

I always wanted to be…

As a child, I set my goals pretty high… I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom! Now, I have a career that allows me the flexibility of being able to work from home a couple days a week, so I can still spend time with my son and have a fulfilling career!

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