Virginia Breese is a molecular biologist at Rhode Island Hospital. When she is not in the lab, she is travelling, training for the next bicycle race, and dispelling the myth that one has to be middle-aged and single to live with two cats. Here she describes how her ThinkPad T430 is, like her ABI 7900HT PCR System, another tool for her work.
When my netbook finally crashed, after about a year of abuse, I vowed to invest in a more suitable device for my computing needs. This required the admission that while my purchase was to serve primarily as my personal computer, it would inevitably be dragged into the workplace. For me, the requirements of a personal laptop are simple- durability (since I’m a little accident prone), portability, and internet access; however, to function in the workplace, as I learned the hard way, processing power and software compatibility are also important.
I work in the clinical molecular biology laboratory at Rhode Island Hospital, which is a branch of the pathology department that aids in the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of genetic diseases by looking for changes in patients’ DNA. As the department’s “developmental technologist” I am responsible for developing, validating and implementing new tests for the laboratory. The field of molecular medicine is growing rapidly, especially in regard to diagnosis and treatment of cancer. As our understanding of the molecular landscape of cancer is constantly changing, so are the tools we’re using to incorporate this knowledge into clinical use. Over that past year, my Lenovo ThinkPad T430 has helped me to gather, process, and communicate this information to my peers in a centralized way.
In the lab, we use many different platforms to extract the appropriate genetic information from a variety of patient specimen types. Each platform requires a unique data analysis program and often, the lab prefers additional third party software to fully complement our clinical workup. During the evaluation process of new test implementation, having a personal computer that can easily install and run new programs is extremely convenient. It allows me to further process data remotely and very importantly, to demonstrate the efficacy of the software to peers and supervisors during meetings. Since incorporating the T430 into the lab, I’ve never had to awkwardly stall, waiting for a program to load during a presentation. I can seamlessly toggle between PowerPoint presentations and new software demonstrations, providing my audience with a clear understanding of the material.
In the fall I will be beginning graduate school while balancing working full time in the lab. Though I'm certain some days will be hectic and stressful, it's a good feeling knowing that I can rely on my ThinkPad.