Robert Karaffa, 30 years

Core Director III

School of Medicine

Robert Karaffa in a lab with 2 other students

Our facility. That’s me on the left. Those two graduate students (Natalyia and Maria) are about to publish in Nature or Science. Or both. Trust me on this.

Tell us a little about the work you've done at Emory throughout your career.

I began working in the Emory Clinic Flow Cytometry Lab as a Flow Cytometry Technologist in 1993.  In 1994, the new director put me in an expanded role with increased duties. In 1998, Emory Hospital hired me to do the same work, and then in 2001, the School of Medicine hired me as Technical Director of the new Flow Cytometry Core Facility.  This year, 2023, School of Medicine moved me to a higher position and title, Core Director III. 

What are some of your favorite memories of your time at Emory?

The great colleagues and friends I have had the pleasure of making along the way! From all over this fine planet! 

What are some of the most significant changes you have witnessed over the course of your career?

Technology Never Stands Still.  What I mean by that is that advancements in technology have kept me interested (and employed) for over 30 years.  In that time, flow cytometry went from 3 parameter detection to 50+ and counting.  I have benefited professionally, and clients of our facility have benefited, as well.  I can say without hesitation that the job satisfaction which follows me home each day makes it so that I never feel like I am going to work the next day; it is more like I am being paid to come to a wonderful place to play with these wonderful toys and interact with these wonderful scientists.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything!  

Is there anything you miss from "back in the day"?

I miss my mentor, Mr. Steve Micko. Great man, great mentor, great friend. 

What do you hope for the future of Emory?

That it continues to hold its students and employees to the same high-quality standards and goals that were afforded me. 

Anything else you would like to share?

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Emory to any person seeking a high level of education or employment.