My research in the Coon lab focuses on improving the accuracy of quantitative mass spectrometry (MS). In complex biological systems, interference caused by co-isolating species is problematic and can truncate the ratios of isobarically tagged samples. Using a system of proton-transfer reactions, I hope to address the problem of co-isolation for post-translationally modified species. This work will be extended to study possible signaling pathways of ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) protein kinase. The autosomal recessive disorder ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) is characterized by immunodeficiency, cerebellar degeneration, progressive ataxia, and premature aging, and arises from a lack of functional ATM. Proteomic data of ATM phosphorylation events will provide important insight into the biological nature of the ATM response.
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