Coon Lab Alumni

Meet the most valuable

products people minds innovators of our research.

Coon Group alumni are pursuing exciting careers all across the globe.

Each year several students earn their Wisconsin Ph.D. after conducting research in the Coon Laboratory.  We are proud to present them here and share with you their successes.

Graduate Alumni

Derek Bailey

Software Scientist, Thermo Fisher Scientific

“The emphasis on programming with instrumentation and the close connections with industry the Coon lab had were really heartening to me...“

Justin Brumbaugh

NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School

“I learned how to be a mentor from my great mentors and teachers in the program.”

Elyse Freiberger

Sr. Scientist, Biotransformation, AbbVie

“I applied to UW because they have a top-quality biochemistry program, but it was the visit that really sold me on attending.”

David Good

Scientist, Covance

“I learned how to be a self-starter—that no idea is bad, but an idea has to carry weight and momentum to be carried through to see it to the end.”

Alex Hebert

Scientist, Johnson & Johnson

“I fell in love when I visited and had to come.“

Paul Hutchins

Senior Chemist, Analytical Sciences, The Dow Chemical Company

"My time in the lab prepared me to look deep into the data to see what conclusions can be drawn when the results are unexpected."

Nick Kwiecien

Data Scientist, 3M

“I’m tremendously excited for the next stage and at the same time tremendously appreciative for all the opportunities I had in the Coon lab“

Aaron Ledvina

Technical Lead, Covance

“In grad school there’s a general emphasis on process, but one thing that’s unique about the Coon group is the expectation for production.”

Violet Lee

Lead Scientist, Genentech

“I learned how to see a problem from many viewpoints and to articulate my viewpoint to effectively make an argument for something I feel strongly about.”

Vanessa Linke

Postdoctoral Researcher, Poland

“What I really enjoyed about the Coon lab was the collaborations that put you as a student in the position of the driver of a project with outside collaborative colleagues—that made for a really good experience because you had to take on some responsibility to manage the role of communicator towards the collaborators.”

Graeme McAlister

Senior Scientist, Thermo Fisher Scientific

“Altogether, I cannot speak highly enough about what I got out of the Coon lab, its high profile research that allows you to work on the cutting-edge.”

Justin McKetney

University of California-San Francisco

“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.”

Anna Merrill

Clinical Asst. Professor, Pathology Dept. at Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa Health Care

“Developing communication skills through mentoring has helped me navigate difficult management situations in my current job.”

Catie Minogue

Assistant Professor, Hartwick College

“The people are motivated and smart. They drive each other to do well in a collaborative way.”

Sean Peters

Scientist, Epic Systems

”I came to the Coon Lab to learn more about how MS could be applied to these biological problems.”

Amelia Peterson

Scientist, Thermo Fisher Scientific

“The training, opportunities, and network the Coon lab provided me factored directly into landing my current position.“

Doug Phanstiel

Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

“But I was not anticipating the level of attention to detail in various aspects of our careers and research, which I think may be unique to the Coon group.”

Greg Potts

Senior Scientist, AbbVie

“Taking a research project all the way to the presentation stage, was exceptionally useful.”

Alicia Richards

Scientist, Sanford Burnham Prebys

“I was involved in some really neat, high impact projects while I was at the Coon lab. If you had asked me at the beginning of my grad school career, I never would have thought that was possible.“

Nick Riley

Postdoctoral Research with Carolyn Bertozzi at Stanford University, CA

“The research is exciting and high caliber…”

Chris Rose

Scientist, Genentech

“My research in the Coon group directly prepared me for this, particularly the focus on developing instrument methods...”

Matt Rush

Senior Scientist, SCD Probiotics, LLC

“I saw the Coon lab as a place where I could pursue my interest in analytical chemistry instrumentation and method development…”

Jason Russell

Senior Scientist, Invenra, Madison WI

“The group patents a lot of their ideas, which conveys to students the real-world applications of their research.“

Evgenia Shishkova

Assistant Staff Scientist, NCQBCS

“...the highly collaborative aspect of the Coon Group research does prepare its students to be effective communicators.”

Danielle Swaney

Assistant Professor, University of California-San Francisco

“Josh Coon was a great mentor—he always had my best interest in mind.”

Anji Trujillo

Pfizer, Inc.

“When I think about what my role is as a scientist, I always go back to what is my role as a scientist in society.”

Arne Ulbrich

Senior Chemist, Dow Chemical Company

“I loved the opportunities to collaborate with other research groups and industry researchers.”

Erin Weisenhorn

Senior Scientist, Just Biotherapeutics

"Getting to organize and lead collaborative projects is great experience for probably any job you’re going to get outside of grad school."

Craig Wenger

Research Scientist, Quantum-Si

“I’ve always been interested in mass spectrometry because it’s conceptually a very simple technique but extremely general and powerful.”

Emily Wilkerson

Research Associate, University of North Carolina

“I was drawn to UW because all of the students I met on my visit seemed so happy, and because there were so many collaborations—not just within the department but also across the university.“

Gary Wilson

Research Scientist, Protein Metrics Inc.

“Especially in the context of the covid-19 pandemic, I found value in the contacts and networking that had built up through the years in the Coon group during my search for postgraduate career—those relationships can get you through and present opportunities that might not have been apparent.”

Postdoctoral Scholars

Paul Grimsrud

Proteomics Section Director, Duke Molecular Physiology Institute

“Working with Josh Coon and his group gave me a one of a kind opportunity to do cutting-edge proteomics research.“

Shane Hubler

Data Scientist, Ariosa Diagnostics

“I think the most important thing that any Ph.D. program can do for you is to train you to be a scientist.”

Jean Lodge

Scientist, Eli Lilly

“The group has a natural inclination for branching out into diverse research projects and continues to explore new areas.”

Harald Marx

Group Leader, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

“Coon Labs is one of the best when it comes to mass spectrometry.“

Jesse Meyer

Medical College of Wisconsin

“When I was fortunate enough to obtain funding for a post-doctoral traineeship… I jumped at the opportunity to join the Coon Group.”

Tim Rhoads

Postdoctoral Associate, University of Wisconsin–Madison

“...I later realized just how powerful and broadly applicable of a technique mass spectrometry...“

Kevin Schauer

Field Applications Specialist, Thermo Fisher Scientific

“When I was fortunate enough to obtain funding for a post-doctoral traineeship… I jumped at the opportunity to join the Coon Group.”

Qiangwei Xia

CEO and Principal Scientist, CMP Scientific

“Every day I still think carefully about how to accurately and effectively convey results in scientific and marketing contexts.“

Undergraduate Alumni

Jack Chlystek

Research Associate, FemtoDx

“I enjoy analyzing instrument performance with various types of chemical standards over time.”

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.