Nathan Cude and Leah Blasiak are both scientists in Novozymes’ Microbial Discovery Group, located at the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. They work to identify the most promising microbial strains that will head for field trials as part of The BioAg Alliance. They were interviewed for the Top Employer Survey and here share why it is great to be a scientist, and work for Novozymes.
Nathan Cude: I wanted to work for a company that was passionate about doing the research necessary to tackle huge problems, and could see that BioAg has the opportunity to change agricultural practices and feed a growing world. Plant growth promoting microorganisms are a cutting edge area of research in microbiology that I was already interested in prior to joining the company. Knowing that Novozymes invests heavily in R&D affected my decision to apply here, and being a part of the team contributing to this work definitely motivates me.
I’ve enjoyed the collaborative, friendly culture of Novozymes, met people at every level in the organization and worked on interesting projects, from whole genome sequencing to culture collection management and isolation strategies. I’ve particularly enjoyed the responsibility I was given early on, and felt I could make important contributions to the BioAg Alliance right away.
I tell my friends from graduate school that I work for a company that holds the environment in high regard and is working on many of the same big issues they are researching in academia. Many people imagine that sustainability and stewardship of the environment hurts the bottom line, but Novozymes has shown that isn’t true… My parents don’t exactly understand what I do, but they like to joke that we are saving the planet!
Nathan is a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Tennessee
Leah Blasiak: I enjoy doing science with a strong team and love working in the area of microbial ecology, where there is still so much we don’t know and there is great potential to make a positive impact. What I do matters, and I am much closer to the direct application of my research; and if I wasn’t at Novozymes, I would probably be starting my own company around human microbiome research.
We often talk about ‘people, planet, profit’, which is totally buzz-wordy, but it really does mean something here. It’s important to me to work for a company that values sustainability and, at the end of the day, everyone wants their work to be doing some good.
When I tell friends and family about what I do, I like to say that, at Novozymes, we harness biology and microbiology to do cleaner chemistry. I tell them that, although they probably haven’t heard of us, our products are in lots of things they use every day.
Leah is a Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology