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Fields & Applications Mass Spectrometry

Making MS Matter

Image credit: Sandy Huffaker

How do you decide where to focus your attention?


I pursue what I think will have an impact – throughout my career I’ve pivoted numerous times, something uncommon in academia. During my third year as an assistant professor, I moved from top-down MS to work on understanding the functional role of small molecules using microbial imaging MS. People tried to discourage me; yet, it was the resulting microbial paper that set me apart and led to my being recommended for tenure. In 2012, I shifted once again, redirecting my focus towards molecular networking and, more recently, repository-wide MS data analysis. And my team and I certainly haven’t finished; if something impactful arises in the future, we won’t hesitate to change direction again.

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