Kiumars (Kiu) Shahrokh is the technical director of mass spectrometry at ARUP Laboratories, a national nonprofit and academic reference laboratory at the forefront of diagnostic medicine.
When talking about his background, Kiu refers to himself as a non-traditional student. As an Iranian immigrant, he moved to the U.S. in 1985 and worked as a day laborer until he was able to get his mom and young brother out of Iran. After that, he went back to college with the intent to become a physical therapist. That route quickly had him falling into the world of science. After completing a post-baccalaureate fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, he set out for the University of Utah, where he completed his Ph.D. and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Human Toxicology. From there, Kiu ventured over to Covance Labs to work as an R&D scientist developing pre-clinical tests for FDA-related environments, before taking an opportunity to join ARUP Laboratories.
“As important as the pre-clinical space is for developing new treatments, it’s still one degree removed from directly impacting patient care,” said Kiu. “Being able to work at a national reference lab in a clinical environment was really attractive to me. At ARUP Laboratories, I’m that much closer to seeing and improving patient care. Overseeing such a sophisticated platform, I’m leading work that’s providing many people in need with the best testing we have available.”
On a day-to-day basis, Kiu and his team are faced with and drawn to highly complicated technical challenges—both in terms of developing new solutions and improving the robustness of current assays—to perform better in a production environment.
One unique aspect Kiu really appreciates about ARUP Laboratories, is the Five Pillars, which guides company culture and reflects the day-to-day application of the company’s core values, mission, and client commitment statements.