I enjoy impacting how other people do scientific research and allowing them to take what we’ve learned and apply it to their own situations and their own problems.”

Christopher Kistler

When Chris Kistler isn’t in the lab evaluating new technologies to help Merck’s bioprocess department, you may find him at home trying to figure out how to create something a little different: Beer.

“There are quite a bit of similarities between making beer and my work in bioprocessing,” he says. “In both cases, I’m trying to figure out how to get the most out of a cell to make something of interest. In the home brewing case, that’s beer, and in the work case, that’s a therapeutic protein.”

Collaboration is key

And what is making a good medicine (or a beer, for that matter) if you don’t share it with the outside world? For Chris, it’s the reciprocation as well as the creativity of both his professional life and his hobbies that makes both so enjoyable. “A big component of my job is doing technology development to improve how we make medicines,” Chris says. “Technology for Merck, of course, but it’s also really fulfilling to put these new technologies out into the world. I enjoy impacting how other people do scientific research and allowing them to take what we’ve learned and apply it to their own situations and their own problems.”

Chris especially appreciates sharing his work and research when he attends external conferences and meetings. “In the past, we were the ones asking the questions, and we were the ones aspiring to work with all of this new, great technology other people were talking about and creating,” he remembers. “Now we have people coming up to us and saying, ‘Hey! I just heard about this new thing you’ve published, that you’ve presented on. I really want to work with you guys on this. Can you tell me more about it? Can we set meetings up?’ It’s a great spot to be in.”

Name: Christopher Kistler

Title: Associate principal scientist in bioprocess development

Education: B.Sc., Penn State University; M.S., Lehigh University

Favorite Downtime Activity: Home brewing

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