The Power List 2016
Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor, Janis Apinis Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chemistry, School of Pharmacy and Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA
Passion: I am most passionate about developing novel analytical tools and strategies to solve challenging biological problems. We are excited about developing a suite of multifaceted mass spectrometric tools for functional discovery of neuropeptides and using these enabling technologies to improve our understanding about how the brain works. More recently, we have contributed to developing novel chemical tags for quantitative MS analysis and high throughput measurements in systems biology. I am also passionate about training and mentoring graduate students and postdocs during this process and helping them launch successful careers.
Pivotal moment: During my research career there have been many exciting moments, especially when we discovered neuropeptides that had not been reported before and deciphered their functions. Receiving the prestigious Biemann Medal from the American Society for Mass Spectrometry and delivering the award lecture to a few thousand colleagues and friends was another pivotal moment in my career. It was a tremendous honor and a humbling experience given that there are so many deserving individuals at a similar career stage. It was very encouraging and a strong endorsement for me and my research team.
Prediction: I would like to see single cell omics technology further advance and mature to enable real-time in situ measurements of biochemical changes in cells under healthy and diseased conditions. Such technology will greatly accelerate our pace towards individualized precision medicine.