Kaitlyn Kiecker

Kaitlyn Kiecker

Research Technologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota

What you do:

I work in a pre-analytical laboratory in the Biorepositories Program at Mayo Clinic. My department is responsible for all DNA and RNA extractions, mostly from fresh blood, but also frozen blood, cells, tissue and saliva. I work in a very team-oriented lab, so we work together every day to get through 500+ extractions, quality control on extracted DNA and manual projects. Over the 4 years I have worked at this lab, I have gained a vast amount of experience from trouble-shooting a problem with an instrument to helping manage researcher-submitted projects that are not quite as straight-forward as our other work. It is a fast-paced, always changing environment and I love getting to go to work every day.

What inspires you:

I love that I can provide services for researchers. Although I have no patient contact, I feel involved in the bigger picture since my lab is responsible for successful DNA extractions that will potentially lead researchers to a cure. About a year ago, Mayo Clinic Bioservices was selected to be the biobank for All of Us Research Program, funded by the National Institute of Health to build a database for precision medicine from 1 million participants. I think that its pretty cool to be a part of something pushing to change the future of health care.

How Bethany has prepared you:

When I think back to the many ways Bethany prepared me, I think of the professors. They provided hands-on opportunities in labs and we covered such a diverse amount of topics in class. The amount of knowledge they have is incredible. I also think of my fellow students. Each of my classmates had a slightly different perspective and that is just like the real work-force. You will work with many different personalities with different perspectives. Listening to your classmates and understanding the value of differences and communicating well is so important.

What you remember most about Bethany:

I remember my friends and the beautiful campus.