About Premier Biotech Labs LLC:
Premier Biotech Labs, based in Minneapolis, is an R&D driven manufacturer of rapid urine and oral fluid drug testing devices, and an in-house CAP Forensic drug testing accredited laboratory. Premier Biotech tests roughly 500 samples a day. Working with treatment centers across Minnesota, the lab can test for up to 200 different drug types, making Premier Biotech one of the industry’s most expansive laboratory oral fluid testing panels.
“Drug trends are constantly changing,” said Steve Ekbom, laboratory operations manager at Premier. “Which means nonstop development and testing for us.”
Even though Premier Biotech is at the forefront of the drug-testing industry, Ekbom fondly refers to the company as a “small-business in a startup’s body.” When Ekbom was unsure if the lab could cover the wages to hire its first prospective intern, Sami Meister, she recommended they use SciTech. As a state-funded program, SciTech provides participating companies with a 50 percent wage match for each intern hired through the program.
Once Premier Biotech was financially able to add Meister to its team, Ekbom said, the value of having her as an intern was more than expected.
“It’s helping my staff develop leadership,” said Ekbom. “Having an intern benefits everyone.”
Meet the Intern:
Samantha (Sami) Meister is a junior studying Biology at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Since high school, her interests in forensic science, and shows like CSI, inspired her to pursue biological sciences.
While shadowing some of the lab assistants at Premier Biotech, she said, “I didn’t feel like an intern, I felt like an employee. The only difference is I’m still in class.”
“I didn’t realize I’d be able to do this much during my internship here,” Meister said. “It’s more than I could ask for.”
Small Minnesota companies receive up to $2,500 to help pay a STEM intern. At least 350 wage matches are available through August 2019.