I began working in mass spectrometry in 1996, when I became John Yates' graduate student at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. In 2000, the laboratory moved to The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, CA.
While there, I created the DTASelect / Contrast proteomics data mining software as well as the GutenTag sequence tagging algorithm. I also focused on the statistical characterization of gas-phase peptide fragmentation. As graduation approached, a collaboration at a distance with Nathan VerBerkmoes led me to consider the merits of working in a National Lab.
In 2003, I joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a post-doctoral fellow supporting the Genomics: Genomes To Life effort. While at Oak Ridge, I created DBDigger, a rapid, accurate database search algorithm; MS2Grouper, a tool to reduce spectral duplication in proteomic datasets; and the MS2ZAssign and Tact software packages for inferring charge states of peptide and protein ions from high-resolution MS data. During this interval, I collaborated with Sean Davey through Vanderbilt University in the creation of a tool to reduce duplicates in LTQ datasets.
In August of 2005, I joined the faculty at Vanderbilt to create new tools in support of clinical mass spectrometry. I am focusing on the problems of identifying sequence variation and unanticipated post-translational modifications. I hope to work in lipid identification and quantitation as well.