Pioneering Proteomics

My love of biology, mass spectrometry and computer programming has led me down an uncommonly rewarding path of discovery and innovation. Here, I share some of my story and look towards the horizon of my exciting and ever-changing field.

By John Yates III

1983... Somewhere in the United States of America...

“I really should combine my interests in biology, chemistry and mass spectrometry. What’s out there? OK. MS-based protein sequencing looks like the future. And that means there are really only two serious options: the laboratory of Don Hunt at the University of Virginia or Klaus Biemann’s lab at MIT...”

The wonder years

I grew up in a military family, which meant moving often, changing schools and making new friends. One advantage to the nomadic lifestyle was crisscrossing the US several times and visiting spectacular sights like the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, redwood forests, and meteor craters – you can’t look at the Grand Canyon and not wonder how and why! It was a really natural introduction to wondering about ‘life and nature’.