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Grainy, red-orange and purple spheres of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus.

Lab Work in a Pandemic: How ATCC Navigates the New Normal

July 30, 2020, at 12:00 PM ET


Are you concerned about working during the current lockdown environment? When the recent coronavirus pandemic hit, laboratories throughout the world resolved to shut down operations, reduce the scale of work, or proceed at full steam. No matter how research groups have chosen to face the pandemic, new considerations and practices must be in place to ensure the safety of laboratory and office personnel.

With ATCC’s essential position in providing standards and reference materials to coronavirus researchers, we have not had the option to shut down. To safeguard the health of our scientists, ATCC has adopted a battery of best practices that minimize transmission of SARS-CoV-2 with little impact on productivity. Many researchers are unaware of these practices or may be confused as to how to implement them. To address these concerns, ATCC experts will engage in a lively roundtable discussion that shares what they do to keep the staff safe, current challenges, and the silver linings of the new normal.

Key Points

  • When the recent coronavirus pandemic hit, operations in laboratories throughout the world were affected.
  • ATCC has adopted a battery of best practices that minimize transmission of SARS-CoV-2 with little impact on productivity.
  • ATCC experts will share what they do to keep the staff safe, current challenges, and the silver linings of the new normal.

Watch The Presentation


Ray Stapleton, headshot.

Raymond D. Stapleton, PhD

President and Chief Operating Officer, ATCC

Dr. Stapleton is President and Chief Operating Officer of ATCC. In this role, he leads ATCC’s corporate, business and customer care operations where he oversees the standardization, manufacture, and distribution of new tools and reagents to researchers around the globe. With more than 20 years’ experience, Dr. Stapleton has led technical, quality and manufacturing operations at commercial and clinical stage biopharmaceutical companies. He earned a B.S. in Biology from Mary Washington College and received his Ph.D. in Microbial Ecology from the University of Tennessee.

Melissa Pieja, headshot.

Melissa Pieja

Manager, QC and Laboratory Testing Services, ATCC

Melissa Pieja is the Manager of Quality Control and Testing Services at ATCC, where she leads the testing of biological/molecular material across six departments- Bacteriology, Mycology, Protistology, Molecular, Cell Biology and Virology. Melissa brings more than 15 years’ experience as a business and scientific leader in the biotech and healthcare industries. Prior to joining ATCC, Melissa worked in the clinical microbiology lab at Columbia University Medical center where she identified infectious agents in patient samples. Melissa holds dual degrees in both Biology and Marketing from DeSales University.

Jonathan Waldron, headshot.

Jonathan Waldron, CSP

Environmental Health and Safety Manager, ATCC

Jonathan Waldron is the Environmental Health and Safety Program Manager at ATCC, responsible for day to day operations for the 500 plus staff at four ATCC facilities located in Virginia and Maryland. Jonathan has worked for CH2M Hill, DC Water, and Fairfax County prior to joining ATCC. His passion for employee and contractor safety makes him an advocate for all he works with, ensuring they are properly informed and equipped to best complete their job. Jonathan holds a degree in Natural Resource Management and Environmental Policy and is a board-Certified Safety Professional (CSP).

Brian Shapiro, headshot.

Brian Shapiro, PhD

Marketing Segment Manager, Oncology, ATCC

Brian A Shapiro, PhD, works to communicate the scientific breakthroughs of ATCC’s product development laboratories to the biomedical research community. Brian is the Executive Producer of ATCC's Podcast, Behind the Biology. Previously, he worked at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he investigated the role of pre-mRNA splicing in the multi-drug resistance of lung cancer. Dr. Shapiro attended the Medical College of Georgia, where his research focused on adrenal physiology as well as diseases of the epidermis.