Michael Cha, Phd

Field Application Scientist

Individual responsibilities

I predominately work with our chameleon product line (for cryo-EM). I support product demonstrations and understand how customers get the best value from the chameleon. I build and maintain relationships with customers and gather feedback that can be passed onto the research and development team to make improvements to software and instruments. Every single change we make to our products is an informed decision, driven by customer response therefore, the relationships I manage are critical to creating an effective feedback loop. 


Skills

Technical product knowledge is essential to being successful in this role. However, you also need to have a customer-focused approach. Understanding customer needs and challenges is fundamental and this will always be at the center of everything we do.


Department

I am part of a team of Field Applications Scientists (FAS). 


Departmental responsibilities

Our team of Field Applications Scientists is focused on our customer’s scientific projects from the very first interaction during the purchasing process. During this period, we provide instrument and software demonstrations which give scientists the opportunity to visualize how our technology fits with their workflows. The FAS team also assists with instrument installation, provides customized applications training and helps with experiment design and protocol optimization. We are also engaged in the ongoing scientific and technical support. 


Best parts of the job

I am really enjoying learning new things, ranging from technical knowledge about various vitrification technologies and new advancements in the cryo-EM field, as well as more commercial topics such as marketing and product development.


Professional Achievements

An achievement I am most proud of is finishing my PhD thesis which was focused on using cryo-EM methods to gain insights into how kinesin motor proteins walk hand-over-hand along microtubule tracks. I am also proud to have started my new role at SPT Labtech and look forward to working with customers to help them make their lab processes more efficient.


Professional Ambitions

I’d like to continue to support scientists in their research projects. There are hundreds of scientific experiments being conducted which have the potential to offer groundbreaking solutions and playing a part in that is rewarding for me. I will continue to develop my understanding of different scientific fields and I aspire to lead myself and others to success within the industry. 


Why Science

I’ve always had a curiosity about nature. I also had a great mentor when I did my undergraduate research. I went on to do my PhD in Cell Biology from Yale University specializing in cryo-EM methods. These were all driving forces which led me to what I do today.


Outside of work

Outside of work I enjoy playing guitar, weight training, reading and traveling.


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