Vanessa Linke

Postdoctoral Researcher in the lab of Dr. Agnieszka Chacińska, Warsaw, Poland

hailing from

Gemuenden (Felda), Germany


Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chemistry from Justus Liebig University Giessen in Giessen, Germany.

Ph.D. Studies


Title of Ph.D. Dissertation
Linking Mass Spectrometry and Genetics for Studying the Various Biological Roles of Lipids

Research Experience

In Germany I was working with two groups, both related to mass spectrometry and both interested in biomedical applications, specifically doing imaging for bone tissue as part of a large transregional interdisciplinary collaboration on osteoporosis research. In the Department of Physical Chemistry under Dr. Juergen Janek I did research on biological samples with ToF-SIMS and later, in the Department of Analytical Chemistry under Dr. Bernhard Spengler, using AP-MALDI MSI.

“This is a great university—lots of funding, the best instruments, and great people.”

Why University of Wisconsin and the Coon lab?

Giessen is in the state of Hessen, which has an exchange program with Wisconsin. During my Master’s I came to Madison as part of this exchange program and did a rotation in Professor Coon’s lab. At the end of my stay he encouraged me to apply to come back for the PhD program. Up until then I hadn’t thought about this possibility, but since I really enjoyed my semester abroad and everyone was so welcoming and encouraging, I took the opportunity and I’m glad I did. It is a great university—lots of funding, the best instruments, and great people. I learn a lot from the older grad students and post-docs and scientists in the lab. It is a great place to grow a lot during your PhD.

Currently Working On

I am working on small molecule metabolomics and lipidomics. We’re collaborating with other groups (most closely with Federico Rey in Microbiology, as part of a larger project supervised by Alan Attie in Biochemistry) on analyzing different tissues and plasma from genetically diverse mice. We’re looking at small molecules and their pathways to understand how gut bacteria play a role in diabetes and how this might be determined by genetics.

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.