Kristy Crooks (98C)

Kristy Crooks (98C)

Learn more about Kristy Crooks' (98C) story in her Berry alumni profile.

This is a difficult time, but knowing alums like Kristy Crooks (98C) are out there working LONG days to keep us all safe inspires us!

Here's what she said about her experience performing COVID-19 tests in her lab:

What do you do for a living?

I'm an Assistant Professor and Laboratory Director at the University of Colorado.

How have you been impacted by COVID-19?

My children are learning from home for the rest of the school year, and my husband is working from home. I still need to work on campus, but we're practicing social distancing and are being creative with laboratory staffing.

How have you been helping others during the COVID-19 pandemic?

I direct what is usually a fairly typical clinical genetics testing laboratory--cancer, Huntington disease, etc. We were asked to bring up a clinical test for SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 and now perform that testing in my lab.

What do those tests entail?

  • We have to be certain that the test is accurate, that it detects very, very small amounts of the virus in your sample.
  • We have to be sure that it doesn't matter if your sample is a swab or a lavage or sputum--that every type of sample works the same.
  • We have to be sure that the length of time it takes for the sample to get from your doctor's office or hospital room to our lab isn't so long that the virus gets destroyed.
  • We have to be sure that the test works the same on every instrument in our lab, so it doesn't matter if we use the older machine by the window or the brand new one two benches over.
  • We have to prove that we can get the samples in and get the results back to your doctor responsibly and quickly.

And how do we do those things?

We test them. All of them. Many times.

What would you tell Berry alums and/or students right now?

Please follow the guidelines and practice appropriate social distancing.

Anything else to add?

Just glad that my Berry education in Biology set me on the path to a career in clinical laboratory science!


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