What brought you to the Coon Group?
I’ve been following Dr. Coon’s work since I first learned about ETD in 2010, and I’ve been impressed with how the Coon lab continues to expand the boundaries of what’s possible in mass spectrometry and beyond. Having wrapped-up most of my work as a postdoc at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, it was time for me to start something new. I reached out to Dr. Coon with a crazy idea that I thought might align with his vision. He invited me for an interview, and we were able to secure funding for my idea through Dr. Craven’s T15 institutional training grant from the National Library of Medicine.
“I’ve been impressed with how the Coon lab continues to expand the boundaries of what’s possible in mass spectrometry and beyond.”
And What does your work at the Coon lab entail?
Everyone is frustrated with the pace and cost of biomedical research. To increase the speed and efficiency of curing disease, my research vision is to use artificial intelligence (AI), or deep learning, to predict biology. AI routinely outperforms old methods and creates new possibilities; AI powers your phone’s personal assistants ‘Siri’ or ‘Hey Google’, but AI can also diagnose disease more accurately than trained radiologists. However, AI using deep neural networks, requires tons of training data – even 10,000 examples is small for a deep neural network. Thus, to use deep learning to predict biology we need to collect data faster than ever before. To realize my goal, I must: (1) drastically increase the pace at which we perform experiments, prepare samples, and collect mass spectrometry data, and (2) generate AI systems that understand biology and chemistry to enable accurate prediction.
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.