Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Wes Overton

Biomedical Scientist

Biosciences and Biotechnology Division

August 3, 2020

What do you like about working at your job?

My job gives me the opportunity to constantly learn. I’m involved in projects where I can contribute to a team effort in my area of expertise while also learning from other scientists with expertise in different fields. I enjoy getting to work with a team of incredibly smart and motivated scientists to develop solutions for real-world problems.

What do your day-to-day work activities include?

My day includes a wide range of activities. I run experiments in the lab, analyze data, plan upcoming experiments, prepare reports for sponsors, write grant applications, read papers, and participate in project team meetings.

What is one project you’re really proud to have worked on?

I’m proud to be leading a Laboratory Directed Research and Development project focused on CRISPR genetic engineering technology. We are using CRISPR to develop novel synthetic biology tools and genetically encoded sensors, and we are gaining a deeper understanding of how the CRISPR system affects cells and can cause adverse stress responses in cells if it is not carefully controlled.

What is your educational or career background?

I have a BSc in chemical and biomolecular engineering from North Carolina State University and MS and PhD degrees in chemical engineering from Stanford University. I was hired as a postdoc at LLNL in 2015 and converted to a biomedical staff scientist position in 2018.

What inspired you to go into your field of work?

I started working in a research lab the summer after my freshman year in college. That experience helped me see how the material I was learning in classes could be applied to real world problems, and I really enjoyed working with a team of people to better understand how cells work at a fundamental level.

What advice would you give to a new employee at the Lab?

Take some time to learn about interesting and exciting work going on across the Lab. Also, seek out a supportive mentor and a group you enjoy working with.

What do you do in your free time?

I enjoy being outdoors, reading, cooking, and spending time with my family.

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