Headshot of Joshua Coon

Joshua Coon, PhD

Professor of Chemistry and Biomolecular Chemistry and Director, NIGMS National Center for Quantitative Biology of Complex System


I grew up in rural Michigan and during these formative years greatly enjoyed flyfishing and woodworking. Putting the latter interest to practical use, I constructed several riverboats (for fishing) while in high school and college. Chemistry interested me, especially Analytical Chemistry, as it offered an avenue to continue “building”. Not boats, but chemical instrumentation. To escape the cold I joined the Chemistry graduate program at the University of Florida and worked with Willard Harrison. Professor Harrison didn’t just guide my research, he taught me how to write, present, and think like a scientist. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word. Upon graduation in 2002, I moved to Charlottesville, Virginia to join the laboratory of Professor Don Hunt. At Virginia I met John Syka. Don and John both shared a passion for science that was as infectious as it was inspiring. Together we worked to develop electron transfer dissociation (ETD). ETD worked just as we had hoped and the dissociation technique is now commonly used for proteomics and has been commercially introduced by no fewer than four major instrument vendors. In 2005 I moved to Wisconsin to start my own program. And though we have been productive and impactful with ~ 200 published manuscripts, I am most proud to have produced nearly 20 Ph.D. scientists, and our academic family continues to grow.

On The Web

Joshua at his lab, Coon Laboratories:

Joshua at the University of Wisconsin, Madison: