As the calendars turn to a new year, we love to take a moment to look back at the previous year. A lot happened at Promega in 2022! We launched Spectrum CE System, the first capillary electrophoresis instrument compatible with 8-color STR analysis chemistry. We announced that over 20% of our global electricity usage is now generated by renewable sources. We unveiled new employee benefits that aim to support employees dealing with specific life challenges.
Perhaps most importantly, in 2022 we prioritized meaningful connections and deepening our relationships with one another. From honoring employee contributions to marking significant milestones, here are just a few ways Promega teams around the world celebrated and connected in the past year.
Have you ever heard Guns ‘n’ Roses and Lizzo in the same concert?
When the Promega employee band Major Groove takes the stage, you never know what they might play!
The Promega band started with a handful of employees in 2006 and has grown to include more than 50 active musicians. Today, they play at company meetings, picnics, art shows and much more.
“During my interview process, I was sent a list of links to learn more about Promega. I was like, “Hold the phone! This company has a band!” says Kathryn Sauter, a Business Analyst on the Global Logistics team. “I never thought I’d have an opportunity to participate in a musical extracurricular activity at a place where I work. Promega immediately shot to the top of my list.”
On September 20, more than 60 scientists from across North America convened at Promega Madison for our first Targeted Protein Degradation Symposium. For two days, speakers shared their most recent advances in this exciting field.
“What has really stood out for me is the collective energy, the openness, the willingness of people to share their struggles, their successes, their compound structures, and really embody this broader goal of working together to build capabilities that will ultimately lead to successful therapeutic compounds,” says Promega Senior Research Scientist Kristin Riching.
On a hill at the top of the Promega Madison campus, an old observatory overlooks the city of Fitchburg, Wisconsin. Inside, cutting-edge telescopes are ready to give students and astronomers breathtaking views of the cosmos.
Over the past 140 years, this observatory has served as the first launchpad for storied careers in astronomy. Following a relocation, it gave a passionate community a home for their curiosity. Today, it supports modern research while also welcoming stargazers of all ages. It is now one of the oldest operational observatories in the United States. This is the Bell Burnell Observatory.
Summer is winding down at Promega Madison. Kids are heading back to school, sunset is creeping earlier, and a new cycle of academic research projects are ramping up. However, in the Promega garden, Master Gardener Mike Daugherty is still hard at work harvesting fresh produce that will soon become delicious meals in our cafeterias. As the seasons begin to change, I stopped by to learn what’s happening on the farm. Here are a few highlights that Mike shared.
“What I’ve learned in science is that we don’t do things alone. Everything is connected,” says Marcos da Silva Regueira Neto.
Marcos is a post-doctoral research at the Federal University of Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil. His project is part of a large interdisciplinary study, so he is no stranger to collaboration and welcomes opportunities to gain knowledge outside his specialty. Earlier this year, Marcos travelled nearly 5,000 miles to take advantage of one such opportunity.
In May 2022, Marcos and eight other young Brazilian scientists spent a week in the United States experiencing a unique behind-the-scenes dive into Promega. Their trip included stops in New York City, Madison, and Chicago. For most of the students, this was their first look into new areas where science could lead them.
“I’ve spent most of my life in academia,” Marcos says. “I want to see the other side – the industry side. I want to learn new things and expand my knowledge.”
Over the course of a week, the students presented their research project to Promega leaders, got hands-on experience with emerging technologies alongside the scientists who invented them, and played with human-sized proteins in a virtual reality space.
“I want to make sure that what I think I want to do, truly is what I want to do.”
Anusha Ray Dey started working in a research lab as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison because she imagined it would improve her future application to medical school. However, there was one twist she didn’t see coming – Anusha realized she really enjoyed working in research. Now graduated, she’s earning a Masters degree to gain more experience before making her next decision.
“I could go into industry and do research, or even be a research coordinator. But maybe I’ll decide to still go on to medical school,” Anusha says. “My experiences in research definitely did shift my plans.”
Supporting Mental Health on Campus
Anusha Ray Dey completed an undergraduate thesis searching for chemical signals in the urine of male orangutans. She has a black belt in tae kwon do and she loves to draw. For an honors project, she drew all of the illustrations for an animated video on Alzheimer’s Disease.
Last summer, we announced our most ambitious sustainability goals ever. This year, as part of our annual reporting, we are proud to share that over 20% of our global electricity is supplied by renewable sources. This represents a ten-fold increase in our renewable energy usage over the past three years.
After a long hiatus sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Promega Art Showcase will return next week with a new exhibition titled “A Vibrant Welcome Back!”
Promega Art Showcase
Why is a biotechnology company hosting an art show?
At its core, science is rooted in creativity. Scientists investigate the unknown and search for novel solutions that can improve our quality of life. We believe that observing and creating art reenergizes the imagination, inspiring scientists to look from new perspectives and step outside of the norms.
Promega has hosted quarterly art showcases in the BioPharmaceutical Technology Center since 1996. These showcases are open to the public and have featured the work of local, national and international artists. Past shows have included sculptors, folk artists, photographers, and painters. The December-March show each year features artwork by Promega employees and their family members.
The 2022 Summer Art Showcase features the work of Derrick Buisch, a painter and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, alongside Bettina Madini, a European contemporary artist and fashion designer.
The refrain regularly echoes through the halls of every academic lab building. During our education, we’re treated to a non-stop supply of speakers on every subject we can imagine. Prestigious speaker series gave us chances to hear from some of the world’s most prominent experts on subjects that would shape scientific pursuits for the next decade and beyond. When we leave academia, however, it can be difficult to find those same opportunities to learn. Sure, there are lab meetings and conferences, but when can you be treated to a renowned expert giving a talk just down the hall?
Promega Head of Biology Frank Fan aimed to address that problem when he developed a plan for the Kornberg Innovation Seminars (KIS), a recurring speaker series to be held in the new home for Promega R&D. Kornberg Center is an environment where Promega scientists are challenged to think outside-the-box and anticipate the challenges life science researchers will be facing tomorrow. Frank believed that opportunities to learn from a wide variety of guest experts would be critical for inspiring that type of thinking.
“Promega R&D focuses on understanding scientists’ needs and providing novel solutions,” Frank says. “The KIS program is about helping us achieve that vision.”
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