Biologist and Chemist

Date: September 10, 2012
Place: Center for Veterinary Medicine, Rockville, MD
Interviews: Elizabeth Tall, Biologist and Lauren Curtis, Analytical Chemist

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Video Description:
Meet Lauren, a chemist, and Elizabeth, a biologist. They use science to keep everyone safe and healthy by testing animal products and food.

Video Transcript:
In this episode, we visit the Center for Veterinary Medicine, which is part of the Food and Drug Administration. Meet Elizabeth and Lauren.

Lauren Curtis, Analytical Chemist:

Basically what I do is I analyze animal feeds [animal food], animal products. Things like meats, tissues, things like that, and I analyze drug residues [remainder of something] in them by using chemical instrumentation [machines].

Elizabeth Tall, Biologist:

One of my favorite jobs is working with farm animals and on any certain day I could go down and collect a sample [small part] in the morning time and then go back in the afternoon and collect another sample, for instance milk. And then I can look at any changes that have occurred [between both the samples] throughout the day.

Our main goal is to protect human and animal health and by doing that, I mean, it gives us all here a lot of satisfaction knowing that we're helping out everyone, including your animals at home.

What do you like about being a scientist?

Lauren: My favorite part of this job is not just sitting behind a desk. I like getting up; I like using my hands and working and getting a result. And that's what I like about being an analytical chemist is I get to work with numbers.

What I'm doing is I'm extracting the drug or the chemical from the feed or the tissue. And then I use the samples I get and I put them in the instrument [machine] and the instrument analyzes how much of that chemical is in the sample.

Did you always like science?

Elizabeth: I guess I always enjoyed doing science fair projects. My dad, he has a science background; he's a microbiologist, so we always had lots of fun doing that.

Lauren: I just took a natural liking to science. I really love animals. So that was the biggest, kind of pull for me.

Any advice for future scientists?

Elizabeth: My advice would just be to go out and try and volunteer and participate in the science fair and go to camps during the summer.

Page last updated: Mar 6th, 2017