Senior Scientist, AbbVie – North Chicago, IL
University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign
Title of Ph.D. Dissertation
Improved mass spectrometry methods for increasing depth and throughput in targeted and discovery proteomics.
How would you describe your graduate training in the Coon Group?
It’s clear that the lab has unparalleled resources and facilities. That’s one of the things behind its success that drew me to the group. The lab is also geared towards optimizing every part of a project. It’s not just experimental design, though they do that well, but it’s also thinking about method optimization—there are a lot of different paradigms that are accepted in what’s already a wide field, but the Coon lab does a great job of encouraging students to move beyond the status quo and figure out how to best create or adapt methods for a given experiment. The intensity of the focus on writing and data visualization, taking a research project all the way to the presentation stage, was exceptionally useful.
I think the research at the lab has been really impactful and has propelled the whole field forward. On top of technology development, you can also look at the research from the perspective of the biological insights it provides. Personally, what drew me to UW and then to the Coon Group were the exciting biological applications I saw going on, which is a result of excellent collaborations.
One thing that you’ll observe in the Coon lab is that no one is working in isolation. Instead, everyone is talking about their work and results, troubleshooting, and so on. Working with a really amazing team of fellow scientists was probably the most rewarding part of graduate school.
“The intensity of the focus on writing and data visualization, taking a research project all the way to the presentation stage, was exceptionally useful.”
What are you doing with this training now?
I currently work as a Senior Scientist in a proteomics research group at AbbVie, located outside of Chicago. As a member of the Discovery branch of research and development, my role revolves around mass spectrometry analysis of peptides and proteins which may be of importance as immuno-oncology targets. Much of my current role centers around instrument and workflow optimization. One focus is on maximizing peptide identifications from affinity pull-downs of protein complexes which might serve as therapeutic targets. I’ve been able to draw on much of my experience from the Coon lab with my current work, since I was exposed to a variety of different quantitative proteomics approaches and instruments during my time in graduate school.
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.