Employee Interview-

Meet Tim Strassmaier

“Tell us your story- how did your path lead you to Nanion Technologies?”

I started out aspiring to be a hippy, but it was not meant to be. I had no aptitude for it, so I decided to focus on science which seemed easier. So, I went for biochemistry in college. With graduation looming, I heard about this great deal called grad school where you can earn a stipend while working towards a Ph.D. So, like the fool that I was, I went for it. It wasn’t all bad though; access to the autoclaves helped me in pursuit of my beer brewing hobby. Eventually, I was getting tired of running Western blots when one day I was talking with a friend who was sitting in front of a bilayer setup measuring currents through a single potassium channel. I was blown away by the idea that we were seeing this single molecule changing conformations in real-time. I was undeterred by assurances that in fact this was very boring and my interest in ion channels grew to the extent that I decided to seek training in an ion channel lab during my post doc years. After this, I had the good fortune to find a job with a start-up company doing drug discovery for ion channels where I had my first contact with Nanion Technologies. I met Andrea at the GRC and later we acquired the Patchliner. This was very lucky for me as I was able to leverage this experience with automated patch to land a gig as an application scientist at Nanion here in Livingston, NJ.

“Knowing what you know now, what 3 pieces of advice would you give your 21-year-old self?”

This question is conceptually quite dangerous as Dr. Emmett Lathrop Brown, Ph.D warned in the classic 1985 film, Back to the Future. However, given current practical limitations on time travel I’ll play along.

  1. One word: Rogaine.
  2. Learn something about computers and programming!
  3. Think before you act/don’t rush into things!

“One Last Question- what’s the coolest thing about your job?”

The coolest thing about my job is the wide range of science and scientists that I get to experience. As application scientists at Nanion we get to try a huge variety of different ion channels (and transporters and different cell types) and work with an equally diverse set of scientists. I’m happy when I can help people make things run better, faster, or easier.