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Scientist in the Spotlight | Erik Hargraves

Senior Research Associate for EdiGene | Analytical Development for Viral Vector

This week we interviewed Erik, an ardent adventure-seeker and inquisitive scientist who is assisting with the production and purification of viral vector material to support the development of new gene therapy products to market by establishing many methods of evaluating the biological components.

What is your earliest memory of being interested in science? "I lived in DC for five years as a kid and loved the natural history museum of the Smithsonian. Just about every field trip was to some new site, but the ones that had ongoing research showed a sense of exploration that allows a childlike wonder for lifelong learning."

What piece of equipment makes your life easier or is your favorite to use? "The box cutter. The rate we receive components for instruments or consumables for assays requires a constant influx of deliveries and managing the lab space is a full-time organization project to maintain order and efficiency. The challenges of growing into a new lab and the delays of many suppliers mean that I am happily finding crucial deliveries every day. So a big shot out and thank you to all the suppliers and delivery personnel who make this industry possible!"

What's the most challenging part of your field? "Balancing office time with lab time. Constantly having to switch gears to manage projects is an exciting but dynamic process that requires flexible teams and smart planning."

What would you like to see for the future of your field of research in 20 years? "In 20 years, I imagine digital information will allow a lot of research to be streamlined to be used in only the most crucial experiments. Generation of lots of data from a single instrument makes the lab work easy, but new advancements towards Pharma 4.0 will make it possible to find answers to questions we haven't asked yet."

When not working at EdiGene, what do you typically like to do? "Hiking, camping, traveling, gaming. I have rafted the Grand Canyon, recently went to Colombia to hike to the Lost City, and am currently planning a trip to Morocco to camp in the Sahara."

Thank you, Erik, for your responses! Click here to learn more about our resident company, EdiGene.

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