Have you ever wondered what a day working at Medix Biochemica is like, and what sort of career paths our employees follow? Find out in this interview with one of our valued team members.

Connor Melton has been working as a protein biochemist at Medix Biochemica’s St. Louis site for three and a half years. For the past two and a half years he’s been in the R&D department, developing protocols to purify a variety of native-sourced proteins.

What does a typical working day look like for a protein biochemist?

According to Connor, there’s no such thing as ‘typical’ in this line of work. In fact, one thing he especially enjoys about his role is that every day is different and presents its own set of exciting challenges.

One day might be spent entirely in the lab, processing hundreds of liters of material, whereas other days might be spent in meetings, running training or reviewing literature.


The path to Medix Biochemica

What inspired Connor to go into his current field of work? The story starts in his childhood.

Connor’s grandmother instilled a love of the natural world in him, teaching him the names of trees and plants from a young age. He always wanted to study in a scientific field and, growing up as a talented athlete, he assumed he would study physical therapy, helping other athletes to perform and heal. But during his college years, Connor rediscovered his passion for nature when he enrolled in a class called ‘Algae and Fungi’. From there, he went on to specialize in studying orchids, a fascinating field of research which took him from Cuba to Ecuador to the Everglades.

Then, just as Connor was realizing that he wanted to put his scientific and biological qualifications to use somewhere other than studying plants, one of his colleagues was hired by Medix Biochemica. Hearing about what a great place the company is to work, Connor soon chose to join the Medix Biochemica team, jumping into what was a new field of science for him.

The Medix Biochemica advantage…

...as a supplier

Connor describes Medix Biochemica as striking the ideal balance in a space where many competitors fall short: it’s a multinational company with a small-business approach to customer service. 

At Medix Biochemica, we’re big enough to meet customer requirements and tackle potential problems, but small enough to bring the human touch to each project. We work in close partnership with each customer and listen carefully when they tell us what they need.

...as an employer

Connor praises the strong working relationships and culture of knowledge sharing in his department. “My boss has an open-door policy – I can go in any time to ask him questions – and my coworkers have a wide range of expertise and experience in this industry, so I can always go to them as well.” 

Communication and camaraderie between different departments is strong and there are opportunities for inter-department career growth too. This enables employees to develop a wide range of skills and to cross-pollinate their strengths with others. One of Connor’s colleagues made the transition from being an R&D scientist and process improvement manager to managing a completely different department, focusing on customer interaction instead of laboratory work.

“There are always new things to learn and I think that’s what really draws me in and keeps me here.”

...as a key player in the healthcare space

Medix Biochemica produces raw in vitro diagnostic (IVD) materials that are used in diagnostic testing, assisting with the timely, accurate diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of diseases. This facilitates timely and appropriate treatments for these diseases, ultimately benefiting patients and leading to better outcomes.

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What does a protein biochemist do?

Connor’s main responsibilities include: 

  • Researching and designing native protein purification strategies 
  • Carrying out experimental and analytical procedures aimed at producing and quantifying a final product that meets customer specifications
  • Regularly presenting data from his experiments to his colleagues and manager 
  • Keeping up with the most up-to-date products and offerings from companies that can help Medix Biochemica’s people perform their jobs more efficiently
  • Training and acting in an advisor/mentor capacity, ensuring that his colleagues are able to perform their jobs as best as they can

Connor Melton image for article_copy image

Connor Melton,
Protein Biochemist at Medix Biochemica's St. Louis location

When designing a new protein purification strategy, Connor and his team will:

  • Consult previously published literature to see if a strategy for the process has already been devised and, if so, how it was executed
  • Obtain the starting material (e.g. plasma) 
  • Try to replicate what has been described in the literature, to see how well it works
  • Evaluate the results and determine how the process can be adjusted to produce a more purified product
  • Try, test and retest until they’ve created a high-quality, accurate process that can be effectively reproduced

Every challenge presents new opportunities

What inspires Connor the most about his work? For this biochemist, it’s all about rising to the challenge.

“The challenge of trying to take something that is complex and boil it down to a repeatable product that we can make – figuring out how best to do that, I would say that’s probably what inspires me the most. There’s no better feeling than when you figure it out.”

For example, in early 2022, Connor was given a project for which an IVD customer required a large amount of product at a very high level of purity. He and his team consulted the previous literature, but the methods described there didn’t give them the results they needed – so they had to start from square one and re-evaluate their whole purification strategy. 

The project took over a year in development and posed significant challenges, but Connor embraced the opportunity to learn new things and grow in his role. Ultimately, his team was able to proudly and successfully meet the brief with a high purity product.  

In the coming year, Connor and his passionate team look forward to seeing their latest IVD projects come to fruition and to delivering what their customers need, every time.

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  1. Expert opinion. Interview with Connor Melton, protein biochemist, Medix Biochemica. February 6, 2024.

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