Erin Baker, PhD
Assoc Prof., Dept of Chemistry, North Carolina State University
When was the moment you fell in love with Mass Spectrometry?
When I was an undergraduate, I worked in the MS Analysis Laboratory at Montana State Uni evaluating samples for anyone needing MS measurements. Each time, I was amazed by the information I could obtain and loved helping answer questions such as whether a novel synthesis worked or if a toxicant was present. I also love puzzles and find each MS study similar to a puzzle where the number of pieces reflects the complexity of the study. This obsession keeps me interested in MS analyses as there are so many complex puzzles that need to be solved : )
What is the best thing that could happen to the field of Mass Spectrometry in 5 years?
I know the future of MS is extraordinarily bright as novel technologies and advanced data analysis approaches are being introduced on almost a monthly basis! Additionally, my group is extremely interested in the evaluation of "big data" from multi-omic studies so I am closely following all cheminformatics and machine learning advancements as we feel these developments will provide associations and solve complex problems that cannot be tacked to date.
What has been the proudest moment in your life science career?
I am extremely proud of all scientists that can present their research at conferences as I know how hard it is to put your ideas in front of others, especially experts in the field!! I have worked extremely had to overcome prsentation anxiety and imposter syndrome, so every time my students or mentees overcome an obstacle ranging from fully assessing their first mass spectrum to presenting their research at conferences, these are the best moments of my career!!