The best science demands the best people—and at BioAgilytix’s Boston lab, there’s no shortage of skilled and dedicated scientists. I’m particularly proud to be working with this group of passionate, talented individuals and excited to highlight the diverse bioanalytical expertise they bring to the lab to progress our customers’ innovative studies. Below, I talk with one of our expert flow cytometry scientists and longtime Boston team member, Benjamin Lamothe.
Tell us a little about your background in the industry and areas of scientific focus.
I started my career as a Microbiologist/Chemist out of the University of Rhode Island employing the flow cytometry technology to my research in gut flora in hopes to develop a better way to treat various diseases. Unfortunately, the opportunities for a young and ambitious Microbiologist were few and far between at that time. When the 2009/2010 market crash occurred, I was finally presented with the opportunity to pivot my career from Microbiology to Virology/Immunology at the University of Massachusetts (UMASS) Medical School, which opened the door for new flow cytometry applications. During my time at UMASS Medical School, I conducted research on heterologous immunity and the viral proficiencies within the body, which gave birth to an intense interest in the flow cytometry capabilities within the science industry. After completing my publication as a B.Sc. Laboratory Technician in 2011, I moved into the field of regenerative medicine and began testing living allogeneic bi-layer constructs and their components for venous leg and diabetic foot ulcers, with and without imbedded stem-cells to modulate the recipient’s immune response. This experience only further deepened my interest in flow cytometry work.
In total, I’ve garnered 15 years of flow cytometry experience and 10+ years of virology/immunology experience. When I made the move to BioAgilytix (at that time, Cambridge Biomedical) 5+ years ago, I also expanded my experience into oncology and immuno-oncology. Together, I feel all of these experiences have effectively made me a subject matter expert in flow cytometry and cytokines/chemokines/biomarkers in the realm of cell-based assays.
How did you come to join the Boston team? What were the opportunities and/or qualities of the company that excited you most?
When I came to BioAgilytix I finally had the opportunity to work in oncology and immuno-oncology. Since I have personal experience with cancer and its potentially devastating effects on patients, their friends, and families, this was a huge draw for me. I saw the opportunity to give back with my experiences and training to hopefully be an asset to those who need it. Knowing I’m helping to progress lifesaving therapies makes all the difference to me.
Tell us a little about your role today. How has it evolved over time?
When I started my career here as a Research Associate in 2015, I was mainly responsible for executing sample testing and analyses for already established projects that were in-house. From there, I quickly transitioned from routine sample testing to validation execution, then validation design and interfacing with sponsors to provide the best possible service.
At the beginning, flow cytometry was not always my main focus. However, as I took on more roles, starting with qPCR and then evolving into MSD assays, enzymatic assays, protein analyses, etc., there was a large demand for my flow cytometry experience.
Now, I am Lead Scientist for several projects and work closely with my highly talented and exceptional colleagues to provide flow cytometry services to the growing immuno-oncology and CAR-T industry.
What are some of the most exciting scientific projects you’ve had the opportunity to work on?
Primarily, I work with CAR-T therapies and therapies for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). CAR-T is exciting because of its promise as an immunotherapy treatment of cancer. ALS is a devastating disease and our work is fulfilling in the sense that we can see the effect these therapies have on the cells involved, which can translate to making a difference in an entire patient population.
How are you able to see the impact of the work you do on a larger scale?
One of the biggest ways is when one of the projects I worked on receives FDA approval. I have been blessed to hear many times the news that a drug we’ve supported has been approved or that clinical trials we’ve helped to progress have been granted phase I/II/III/IV status. However, the ultimate “payback” is seeing sponsors returning to BioAgilytix because of our team’s reliable service. That’s how I truly know my work and the work of my team is making a difference.
What do you think differentiates BioAgilytix from other CROs?
The team members at our Boston lab thrive on difficult projects that require a large amount of thinking and building from scratch. For example, we have the patience and attention to detail necessary for developing cell-based assays. We truly enjoy creating functional and fit-for-purpose assays. Because of our experience across industry with numerous sponsors, we can identify scientific approaches that may drive the assay design or strategy in a direction that had not been considered by the sponsor. This type of innovative thinking makes BioAgilytix a leader in the bioanalytical space.
What is your favorite thing, personally, about working on BioAgilytix’s Boston team?
For me, it’s really the people who make working at BioAgilytix a special experience. The Flow Cytometry/Cell-Based Assays group, along with the Cytokine/Biomarker group, are some of the best people I have ever worked with.
Work With Us: BioAgilytix Career Opportunities in Boston
Boston, MA is a mecca for biotech innovation and if you’re looking to be immersed in exciting therapeutic innovation, we’d like to talk to you. We invite you to explore the open career opportunities at our Boston campus and to reach out directly to our HR team if you have any questions.