Now in her ninth year at the company, Lauren Procter first found her way to Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc. during her senior year when she completed an independent study with professor of biology Craig Laufer, Ph.D.
“I gained hands-on research experience while supporting Dr. Laufer’s research on pectinolytic enzymes for biofuel production from sugar beet pulp,” she said. “Nearing graduation, I spoke to Dr. Laufer about career paths and he was able to connect me with Dr. Dominic Esposito, a scientist at Leidos Biomedical Research (formerly, SAIC-Frederick).”
While there were no positions open at the time, Esposito would eventually hire her. A molecular cloning position opened in the Protein Expression Lab in Esposito’s lab half a year after her graduation.
“I was so relieved to be employed, and excited to start my career in a lab where I could build on the skills that I gained from working with Dr. Laufer,” she said.
After five years in the field, Procter returned to Hood to pursue a master’s in biomedical science, and graduated in January 2017.
“Between my education at Hood, and the hands-on learning at work, I feel that my knowledge of the field has increased dramatically in a relatively short period of time,” she said. “I often think about how grateful I am to have had wonderful mentors at Hood and incredible scientists leading me at Leidos Biomed.”
Currently, Procter’s role is to support principal investigators from the NCI’s Center for Cancer Research by producing proteins that they need for their research. They do this by expressing the protein of interest in a host, such as E. coli, mammalian cells, or insect cells, and isolating the protein from the cells by a series of purification steps.