Carl Peters

We invite you all backstage and introduce the people behind our microplate readers. Today: From Nebraska to our US office in Cary, NC, he does whatever he can to help customers and his fellow colleagues. Meet Carl, a scientist at heart as well as music addict. 

My name is Carl and I work as Senior Application Scientist in our US office. I got my PhD in Cell / Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. My focus in my PhD and postdoctoral work was the role of kinases in cell signalling. I joined BMG LABTECH in 2012 (?). Before that I was teaching online courses for Washington State University.

What does your job entail?

Mostly doing whatever I can to help our customers. Getting their protocols set up as they wish, helping them select filters, assisting them with data analysis calculations using MARS. I also keep up to date with current scientific literature with a focus on how our products are being used and establish connections with reagent providers. This sometimes leads to application notes and webinars. Thanks to our lab facilities, I am also directly involved in the generation of content for application notes. Moreover, I support our sales staff whenever they need help to optimize assays or give presentations.

What is a typical day like?

First, I review the emails that have come in overnight. I update / respond to any outstanding support request that I am working on. Then, there are usually some filter orders that I need to retrieve. After that the rest of the day I try and move my current list of projects forward. Either working in the lab, writing up results or reading papers. All the while answering assay / filter support requests and generally providing whatever customer support I can.

I know this doesn’t sound very exciting. But it really is. I don’t really know for sure what I will be asked on any given day. Nearly everyday I learn something new. Be it a scientific advancement or a novel way of using our readers and data analysis capabilities.

Favourite memorable moment from work/BMG? 

The most memorable was when I had only been with BMG LABTECH for a couple of months. I was the only one still in the office when I received a call from a quite frantic person asking “Can you tell me if I have mad cow disease?” They had Googled mad cow and one of our application notes had come up, so they called our US office. I explained that we aren’t a testing facility and she would need to see a doctor. If only it had ended there it would not be memorable. They went on to tell me that they had just returned from London where they had broken off a relationship. The jilted lover texted them later claiming they had fed them meat that carried mad cow disease. I didn’t believe any of this could be true and had many questions but mainly I wondered: Why are you telling me any of this?

What’s a common question you get from customers? 
Can I do _____ calculation in MARS? The answer is almost universally yes. 

What are 3 words to describe BMG?

Dependable, helpful, precise

What is your biggest challenge at BMG LABTECH? 

Keeping my to do list short. Not a problem really. There is always something new to do, a customer to contact, a note to write, a talk to give. This is what makes my job exciting!

What do you like to do when you aren’t working?

Something to do with music. Usually listening to a record, less often seeing live music, even less often playing drums and/or singing.

What’s a fun fact about you many people may not know? 

I am in the Athletic Hall of Fame at Hastings College.

What are the values that drive you? 

Kindness and acceptance.

Where’s your favourite place in the world? 

That is tough. I guess I would say New York City. I have been on a couple of trips there recently and feel like there is so much more to see and do.

Who would you most like to swap places with for a day? 

Dave Grohl in Chicago with a Foo Fighters show at Wrigley Field. 

Which individual, living or dead, would you like to eat dinner with the most? 

Winston Churchill. Just finished a biography about him. I have no doubt the meal would be good and conversation non-stop.

When I was a kid, I was pretty sure I'd be a [JOB/PROFESSION] when I grew up 

Palaeontologist. Loved dinosaurs! Still do really.

What drives you every day? 

Being a good person as an example for my daughter.

What do your colleague not know about you yet? 

The embarrassingly high number of times that I have watched Frozen and Frozen 2. I don’t even know anymore. Goes with the territory of having a daughter of a certain age.

If you could choose, how would you decide… either/or questions

  • Hip Hop or Metal – METAL!!!!
  • Cat or dog – Dog. Just rescued one. Do you want to see about 100 pictures?
  • Comedy or drama - Comedy
  • Pop or indie - Indie
  • Early bird or night owl? – Early bird
  • Rural or urban? Urban 
  • Skiing or snowboarding? Skiing
  • Dancing or singing? Can you do one without the other?
Carl Peters with a microplate reader
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