Benjamin Vieira graduated from Northeastern University in 2012 with a degree in biochemistry. Since interning at Genzyme, he has worked at several pharmaceutical companies in the Boston area. Hobbies include filling every party with music from a piano (somehow a piano always appears), planning the next day for his Beer Club, and staring dreamily into cameras. Here he discusses how his current workplace utilizes the latest Lenovo products to maximize productivity and space in the lab.
My name is Ben. I work at a large biotech company, as a scientist in pre-clinical research. The focus of my work is Analytical Biochemistry. During the discovery process of new drug candidates, detailed information about proteins, cells types, and many other aspects of biological processes is often sought in order to make educated decisions for these projects. In my group, we specialize in examining the chemistry of these interactions: Everything from detecting tiny quantities of a single molecule to assembling libraries of information about how enzymes or antibodies interact with cells. Carrying out my job often requires the use of the latest instruments and the automated processing of large sets of data. Some chemistry instruments can detect hundreds to thousands of individual molecules in the space of a single analysis, and can produce gigabytes of data per sample. I spend as much time interpreting this raw data as I do in the lab! Because of this, reliable computing is essential to what we do.
In the past year, the company switched to issuing Lenovo brand desktops and laptops as part of an effort to completely replace an aging handful of assorted computers used with scientific instruments. As part of the switch, I received the ThinkPad T430s with a dock for use at my desk. (Slimmer and sleeker options were available, but the scientist in me had to opt for all of the ports and CD drive) My first laptop had been an IBM ThinkPad. After switching around in the years afterward to a handful of different laptop brands, I decided to purchase the most up to date Lenovo T530 series about 2 years ago as my personal laptop. Most of my previous laptops ended up being dropped and tossed around during heavy use, usually resulting in dents, snapped plastic, and at least one broken hinge. I had decided that this time around, I didn’t just need the performance specs, I needed the construction. I didn’t know what to expect from the smaller T430s, but I knew I would be able to put it to the test. My commute to work each day totals 4 hours both ways, and includes a short drive , walk, and a much longer ride on public transportation. Since October, the laptop has travelled thousands of miles. I’ve left it on accidentally in my case, watched the case go flying as the bus screeches to a halt, and accidentally sat on it at least a few times. All the while I have never stopped enjoying the ability to work on my analyses or charge my phone and mp3 player on the go. The Power Manager included with Lenovo’s suite of software is particularly useful. I end up having to tweak the power settings often in order to maximize my processing power or battery life, and this can usually be accomplished by tossing the slider one way or another. I have been extremely pleased working with the T430s.