Scientist Focus: Chad Christianson

Chad has 20 years of related experience as an analytical scientist with over 15 focused on bioanalysis at Alturas Analytics. This depth of experience in applied LC-MS/MS and GC-MS/MS, along with an education in chemical engineering provides the backbone for productive and innovative science.  Chad leads the protein quantitation group at Alturas, applying novel techniques to a regulated, high-throughput production environment.

Meet with Chad next week at ASMS.

What inspired you to become a scientist?
Learning about the scientific method in grade school intrigued me. Observe, make a hypothesis, test the hypothesis and draw a conclusion/change hypothesis. I’ve always wanted to know why something worked and this method laid the groundwork for my career.

Did anything make science memorable for you when you were younger?
Most definitely. My exposure to science fiction books, television and movies had a huge impact on my realization of the possibilities of science.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
Developing novel methods for compounds that have stability, sensitivity and selectivity challenges.

What inspires you in the bioanalytical industry?
Playing a small part in the approval of drugs and therapeutics biologicals that can transform the lives of people suffering from disorders previously untreatable.

What are you favorite studies to analyze?
Phase 3 Clinical studies because based on these results the possibility of approval is in sight or it is time to start working on the method for the backup compound.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Watching Alturas blossom into a real force in the bioanalytical community. When I started in 2004 we only had three full time employees and two instruments. Now we have 40 employees, 18 instruments and have the reputation of taking on projects that have failed elsewhere or are too difficult for most labs to handle. We have a fantastic team assembled and I am honored to be part of it.

Why is science cool?
Science allows an individual to ask a question, research/experiment and come up with an answer. Sometimes that answer isn’t what is expected but the knowledge obtained getting to the answer can be a tool used for the rest of your life.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing people (especially children) with little hope for treatment receive a second chance. We have the honor and privilege of making a positive impact on the world.

Do you have any advice for people considering careers in a bioanalytical laboratory?
Be prepared to embrace failure as a learning tool. The knowledge of knowing what doesn’t work makes it much easier to discover what does work and why.