Inside Promega

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Promega wants to be your partner. On this page you can get to know us better!

Here, you will find interesting news about Promega, who joined and will support you in the future in your lab, and what Promega is doing as a company.

Is there anything in particular you want to know about us? Please feel free and ask!

Today, we’ll meet Bob McLaren, a Senior Research Scientist in the Genetic Identity team based in Madison, WI.

Tell us a little bit about what your role is at Promega.

I have been at Promega for a little over 23 years now, of which 21 have been spent working with the Genetic Identity group. During that time, I have worked and supported our customers remotely and in the field and for the past 14 years I have been a part of the Genetic Identity R&D developing several PowerPlex products, PowerQuant and our Swab, Punch and Amp solutions for direct amplification. Since July 2020 I have become responsible for the GI R&D team.

What motivates you to succeed?

Deep down it’s the same as most scientists. A desire to understand the world around us using the scientific method and to be able to use science in a way that benefits all of humanity. Knowing the use to which the products we develop are put by forensic scientists around the world is a huge motivator for all of us in the Genetic Identity R&D group. I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with such a dedicated group of individuals that makes this possible.

What does a typical day for you look like?

Meetings, lots of meetings these days, especially project related. That being said, no day is typical. Focus can change significantly from day to day, but that is what makes this job interesting.

What’s your favorite thing about your job?

Diving deep into technical challenges and working with my team to figure out solutions is probably one of the most enjoyable parts of my position. Working with the people in the group to develop novel solutions that improve the performance of our products and ultimately make a difference in the work of our customers.

Favorite TV show to binge watch?

“Upstart Crow” on Britbox….it’s hilarious…if you have a British sense of humour (if you like the Blackadder series, you’ll like Upstart Crow). Also “Line of Duty” (again on BritBox). Probably the best drama series I have seen in a while. Very well written and acted.

Where do you want to travel to, but have never been?

Bora Bora

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Omnipotence (if you have that, you have them all)

Describe your "perfect" day. Who are you with? What are you doing?

I would have to say spending time with any of my friends outside of work. I am lucky enough to enjoy the company of a wide variety of friends with many and varied interests. Probably one of the most fun things I have done with my friends is travel with them. I have visited the UK (my country of origin) with one group of friends and sailed the islands of the British Virgin Islands with another group of friends (sailing is something I have been doing for about 30 years….wow, that sounds like a long time….I must be getting old).

When you have an hour of free time, what do you like to do?

Vacuum and clean the house….well, it’s what my spouse likes me to do with a free hour 😊

What is your favorite sports to watch?

Football (what the rest of the world calls football…English Premier League to be exact…I’m a Chelsea fan….please don’t hold that against me) and the NFL (Green Bay Packers fan).

If you could have any one skill or talent you don’t already have, what would it be and why?

Would love to be able to fly a plane myself. Can trace that back to the fact that my father was in the Royal Air Force and his love of aircraft transferred to me.

Thanks Bob for this little insight! If you have questions for Bob or about Promega, please ask!