Justin McKetney

Analytical Chemistry Graduate Student

hailing from

Berkeley, CA

Undergraduate

B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology, San Diego State University, 2015; Post-baccalaureate at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 2016.

Why Wisconsin?

While living in Seattle I applied mostly to schools in California and to a couple of schools in the Northwest. After meeting a faculty member from UW-Madison, I decided to apply to Wisconsin—the only school in the Midwest I ended up applying to—and started thinking about the really high caliber level of research going on there and how enjoyable it could be to live in Madison. Both of these things proved true: the combination of passion about science and a relaxed atmosphere has been a great fit for me.

“I was impressed with the lab’s ability to tackle big problems, generate meaningful data, and produce high-impact research that really defines the field.”

What are you working on in the Coon Group?

When I came to Madison, I was looking for a small lab and a lab with less instrumentation, so I didn’t initially think I’d find myself in the Coon Group. Once I did my rotation, however, I was impressed with the lab’s ability to tackle big problems, generate meaningful data, and produce high-impact research that really defines the field.

The project I’m currently involved in is working to map the brain proteome. This information could be used as a standard for comparison to diseased brains and help us understand the effects of neurodegeneration. One of my biggest qualms before joining the Biochemistry program was that I’d be doing more basic science rather than human translational research. I’m very excited about how this project combines my interests in molecular biology with biochemical aspects of method development in proteomics that the Coon lab is known for.

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.