Yunyun Zhu

Scientist, Orna Therapeutics

hailing from

Fengtai County, Anhui Province, China


B.S. in Pharmaceutical Engineering from Anhui University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (2011); M.S. in Pharmacology and Bioanalytical Chemistry from Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (2014)


Ph.D. Studies


Title of Ph.D. Dissertation

Mass spectrometry-based multi-omics integration for mitochondrial systems biology

What brought you to UW-Madison and the Coon lab?

While I was working as a research assistant in a lab at the University of Macau, I decided to apply for a PhD program to gain expertise on mass spectrometry and its applications. My PI recommended that I apply to UW‑Madison as he had taken his post-doc training there. I chose IPiB (Integrated Program in Biochemistry), a top-five program, which best suited my research interests. UW-Madison has a long history with a great reputation in China for its really well-developed fields of biomedical science and facilities. Now that I’m Madison, I’m finding it to be a wonderful university town‒there are many talented students and a nice natural environment.

I had heard of the Coon lab specifically before coming to UW as I was interested in learning proteomics and metabolomics. Mass spectrometry is a great tool for biomedical science. The Coon lab is a very big and powerful place to work on MS, with so many collaborations across universities and corporations like Thermo Scientific. So I’m happy Prof. Coon gave me the opportunity to join the lab for the next five years!  

“It’s equally possible for me to go into academic positions or to go into industry as an expert in MS applications coming out of the Coon lab.”

How are you finding the Coon lab?

It’s a very productive, efficient, and organized lab, which is what I want for my PhD experience. Students are often ready to take their next career step after four years. I learned a lot during my rotation in part because the lab members are happy to answer questions and help each other work on problems. I’m not sure what my specific work will involve yet, but I am excited by how wide ranging the applications are, from biomedical science to pharmaceutical sciences. It’s equally possible for me to go into academic positions or to go into industry as an expert in MS applications coming out of the Coon lab.

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.