Donna Wilson is a Research Specialist skilled in the field of molecular biology, genetics, and chemistry. With over 10 years of experience in high throughput microarray service facilities, medical laboratories, and teaching laboratories. Donna is highly proficient in innovative molecular techniques, has had the opportunity to work in both corporate laboratories as well as highly prestigious academic institutions, and has a passion for Research & Development in the fields of genomics, molecular biology, and chemistry.
To work at well-known prestigious institutions like the University of Pennsylvania alongside famous researchers whom I first read about in my college textbooks. I got to meet and publish with these researchers, such as David T. Denhardt the inventor of 50x Denhardt solution. Research on its own is innovation and its exciting, but the field also provides opportunities to meet fascinating people whose contributions has laid the foundation for the work we do today.
Choosing Their Profession
Initially a career as a research scientist was not my objective. My major starting out in college was elementary education, I was going to be a school teacher, but I was not feeling challenged or fulfilled.
I then fell in love with chemistry and met professors who truly loved their work and their field and they became my mentors, encouraging me in the theoretical as well as in the laboratory. I changed my major again to Chemistry and Premedical Technology, working as a pediatric nurse for 7 years, but I gravitated towards the lab, “I’m a Lab Rat at heart”! So I chose research over a career in medicine.
In the biological sciences, there is a lot of theory and new information is emerging all the time. That means there’s plenty of opportunity for new discoveries. Academic institutions and labs collaborate all over the world on discoveries and share data, while in industry you can feel stifled because sharing data is proprietary and sharing data is discouraged. Although, within industry there is plenty of resources available while in academia there are usually limited funds.
Career Success Tip
Don’t let education hold you back or limit yourself to your degree. What’s printed on your diploma simply defines what you’ve achieved so far, it’s not all that you are, it’s the start, a foundation you build upon. Your ultimate goal should have no limits!
Simplify put, don’t miss opportunities just because they don’t seem to fit what you’re focused on. Expand your focus! Eagerly volunteer for projects outside your field. Learn a verity of skills and take advantage of diverse experience which will increase your knowledge base and ultimately your value to your employer.