Mark Paskanik, AIA, is a lab design expert at CRB in Raleigh, NC. Lab Manager recently spoke with Mark about his career, experience, and personal interests.
Q: How did you get started in your career? Did you major in your field in college, get an internship, switch careers mid-stream, etc.?
A: I’ve always wanted to be an architect, but my professor at grad school in Michigan said to find your niche. My dad authored many research papers in his career, and when I had a summer college job at the hospital, I spent lunch in his office. I seemed to learn lab design by osmosis, and it was such a great fit. In research, you never know what new science or cure to help our families will be uncovered. This idea always keeps me inspired.
Q: If you weren’t in this profession, what job do you think you’d be doing instead?
A: A Christmas tree farmer. It just seems to be very peaceful for me and fits the whole ecosystem concept.
Q: What is the biggest work-related challenge you’ve faced? How did you overcome it?
A: With such a significant investment in life sciences, many of our new partners are venturing into this field for the first time. Our subject matter experts help bridge that gap by bringing a tremendous amount of value. The risk we have seen is when investments don’t fully integrate experts into their strategy, and sometimes the results may not fully meet the life sciences needs. I’ve personally been involved in many projects later on where we had to renovate a space to correct issues with the labs. A common example of this is lab vibration control.
Q: What lab projects are you working on at the moment?
A: I’m working on Fulton Labs in Chicago. It is a game-changer in the industry. It will be the anchor for Chicago and create a lab ecosystem that will bring lab clients back home from the coasts. We’ve implemented many amazing concepts into the project, and the team we have worked with is world-class. Working on this project has been an extremely rewarding experience. We are working on many projects like this across the country, helping create these new lab ecosystems—yet each region is unique in what will make it a success.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish in the next few years in your role at CRB?
A: With the world being so focused on life sciences, we feel we can create important lab ecosystems across the country in many cities. We have many projects in the pipeline that will make the US the leading innovator in science. The results in the next decade will be astounding with what we can accomplish with the proper infrastructure and ecosystem in place.