Research Scientist, Quantum-Si – Guilford, CT
Title of Ph.D. Dissertation
Advanced data acquisition and analysis strategies for mass spectrometry-based proteomics.
What brought you to Wisconsin for graduate school?
I had already received a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign doing related research, so the Coon group was an obvious choice. Wisconsin is a very similar environment: a great all-around school with a particularly good analytical chemistry program.
I’ve always been interested in mass spectrometry because it’s conceptually a very simple technique but extremely general and powerful. I assumed that biologically related research would continue to grow in importance, so proteomics seemed like a natural fit, and I came to the Coon group. I also appreciated the wide variety of computational work involved in mass spectrometry and proteomics in particular.
“I’ve always been interested in mass spectrometry because it’s conceptually a very simple technique but extremely general and powerful.”
What parts of the program have helped you the most?
I remember when I was visiting prospective grad schools they stressed the importance of depth and breadth of your graduate education, and I found that to really be true. Depth in terms of truly becoming an expert in a particular field, and especially learning what goes into that process—not just how to do the research, but how to recognize and tackle problems, how to read papers and absorb information from them, how to attend conferences, etc. Breadth in terms of being exposed to a wide variety of techniques such that you’re sufficiently familiar with them to recognize when one would be a good fit for a problem you encounter.
I’m currently working for a biotech startup. There’s very little mass spectrometry involved, but the more fundamental skills I acquired in grad school like how to approach a problem and recognize promising versus unlikely solutions are completely relevant.
Earn your Ph.D. with us
The Coon Group is always on the lookout for new members. Professor Coon accepts students from several UW-Madison doctoral programs including Chemistry, the Integrated Program in Biochemistry (IPiB), and Cellular & Molecular Pathology.