Research Scientist, Protein Metrics Inc.
B.S. in Chemistry with Concentration in Biochemistry and Minor in Biology from Wake Forest University in North Carolina.
Title of Ph.D. Dissertation
Application and Development of Mass Spectrometry Technologies to Enable Biological Investigations.
Why University of Wisconsin and the Coon lab?
I always knew that I was going to come back to higher education after getting some work experience. UW just had the right environment for me. It pushes collaborative research, so many labs across campus are open to collaboration or mentoring, which is not something you find at every institution. The stature of the program was also attractive; the institution has a rich history of scientific contribution including vitamin D and warfarin. I chose the Coon lab because I had always been interested in mass spectrometry, particularly in what it can afford to biological investigation.
“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.”
Tell us about your move from the Coon lab to your current position.
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. When I defended, most labs were closing with little knowledge of when they may reopen. Fortunately, the Coon lab provides excellent training in the computational side of proteomics in addition to wet lab techniques and instrumentation, which allowed me to remain productive in a remote position.
As a research scientist in computational proteomics, I develop software tools that help scientists in academia and industry explore mass spectrometry data. Much of my thesis focused on glycoproteomics and the informatic tools that can help explore the glycoproteome, which given its complexity and the shortcoming of instrumentation and informatics tools, is an under-served, yet burgeoning, area of biological study. Protein Metrics and our Byonic search engine is a leader in glycopeptide spectrum identification and processing, so it is a nice tie-in to my current work.
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.