Jason Russell

Associate Scientist

hailing from

Dunkerton, IA

  • B.A. – University of Northern Iowa – Cedar Fall, IA (2002)
  • M.A. – University of South Dakota – Vermillion, SD (2007)
  • Ph.D. – University of Wisconsin – Madison, WI (2012)


I was raised in a rural Eastern Iowa community and attended the University of Northern Iowa where I first became involved in scientific research.  As an undergraduate, I worked in the lab of Professor Martin Chin where we synthesized and characterized organometallic compounds for potential use in catalysis.  After graduation, I took a job at GELITA USA (Sioux City, IA), starting as a QA/QC Technician and working my way up to Associate Scientist in the R&D/Technical Services department.  My responsibilities included assay development and technical troubleshooting, but I was also introduced to product development and was soon tasked with translating pilot-scale experiments to full production-scale manufacturing runs to produce edible, photographic, and pharmaceutical grade gelatin.  While working at GELITA, my manager encouraged me to enroll in the Master’s program in chemistry at the University of South Dakota.  I joined the lab of Professor Miles Koppang where our research focused on electrochemical approaches to detecting small molecules and characterization of ionic liquids using mass spectrometry.  I became enamored with mass spectrometry as a powerful analytical tool and decided to leave my industry position, finish my Master’s degree, and enter the chemistry Ph.D. program at the University of Wisconsin where I hoped to further my training in mass spectrometry.  I joined the lab of Professor Josh Coon and focused my graduate research on developing methodology for proteome characterization by mass spectrometry.  After earning my Ph.D., I was hired as an R&D scientist by Agilent Technologies (Madison, WI) and worked in their lab automation and mass spectrometry groups primarily engaged in product development and applications work for biomolecule characterization.  In the fall of 2016, I accepted my current position with the Morgridge Institute for Research to work with Professor Coon establish and manage the Laboratory for Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry (LBMS) to support metabolism research on the UW campus.

“I became enamored with mass spectrometry as a powerful analytical tool…”

What is my role in the Coon Lab?

As the Associate Director of the LBMS, I oversee the day-to-day activities of the students and staff involved with metabolism research under the guidance of LBMS Director, Professor Coon.  I meet with collaborators to determine project feasibility, manage our portfolio of metabolomics projects, and write grant proposals and manuscripts.

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.