About / Team

The ProtiFi Team

Dr. John P. Wilson, Ph.D.

Founder and CEO

Dr. Wilson builds companies and products to solve hard and very hard problems. Through win-win opportunities executed with social and commercial responsibility, he is passionate about moving R&D from the bench to the clinic so it can, by example, detect diseases early, or predict drug responses. As a Ph.D. scientist turned entrepreneur and CEO, Dr. Wilson's expertise in the fields of protein and small molecule analysis, biomarkers and mass spectrometry gives him unique insight into the reasons that omics has not realized its long-promised biomedical potential; ProtiFi products are developed explicitly to address those problems. Dr. Wilson formerly performed postdocal research with Prof. Dr. Darryl J.C. Pappin at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, during which time he founded ProtiFi. He obtained his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences with an Emphasis in Chemical Biology and Microbial Pathogenesis from The Rockefeller University where he discovered an entirely new class of histone PTMs, lipidation. Dr. Wilson obtained undergraduate degrees at the Universität Tübingen and Oregon State University, where he wrote two proteomics dissertations: one on our global solution to proteomics vast complexity, and another in which he developed the chemistry and software tools to decipher the points of nucleic acid/protein interaction through zero length UV induced crosslinking and chemical derivatization. Before graduate school, in industry Dr. Wilson developed workflows and isotopically encoded reagents for comparative proteomics to discover biomarkers of prostate, breast and ovarian cancer for subsequent translation to CLIA lab tests. Dr. Wilson is passionate about education and the power entrepreneurship has to make transformative changes in the very big problems we face because the future – or lack thereof – is what we leave to our children. In 2008 he founded NYC Bio, a 501(c)3 non-profit, with the goal to build a biotech cluster in the Greater NYC region, a goal which a decade later became a reality.

Prof. Dr. Darryl J.C. Pappin, Ph.D.

Co-Founder, Scientific Advisory Board Member, Research Professor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Prof. Dr. Pappin is one of the Founders of the field of proteomics who developed computational methods for analysis of proteins and peptides (MASCOT) and invented isobaric labeling (iTRAQ, later copied by TMT). These technologies are some of the cornerstones of proteomics and have allowed the field to reach its current state. Prof. Dr. Pappin has >3 decades of experience in instrument, chemistry and software development in the fields of protein chemistry and mass spectrometry in a career that pendled between academia and Industry. Prof. Dr. Pappin received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Leeds in 1984, later postdoced there and had a second industrial postdoc as a chemistry group leader at Millipore. He led the protein analysis laboratory at Cancer Research UK where he developed MASCOT and was appointed in 2000 to be departmental chair of Proteomics at Imperial College, London, where he invented iTRAQ. From 2002-2008 he was a Scientific Fellow at Applied Biosystems, where his synthetic chemistry research group continued the development and commercialization of iTRAQ reagents, developed software for quantitative proteome-wide analysis and contributed to the development of second and third-generation TOF- TOF mass spectrometers. Prof. Dr. Pappin is now a Research Professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) where he collaborates extensively in MS analysis of proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, nucleic acids and small molecule metabolites in both cancer and neurodegenerative disease. Prof. Dr. Pappin has been a lead instructor at the annual CSHL Proteomics Course for the last 16 years.

Dr. Sandra Wilson, Ph.D.

President of Operations

Dr. Sandra Wilson earned her Ph.D. at Stanford University in neurodevelopmental biology where she used biochemical, histological and microscopic techniques to elucidate the mechanism by which mammalian brains achieve their proper size and form. Dr. Wilson performed postdoctoral research in cerebellar developmental biology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and received her BS from Stony Brook University in Biochemistry where she identified and characterized proteins responsible for the assembly and maintenance of the nodes of Ranvier.

Jim Palmeri

Lead Bioinformatician

Mr. Palmeri is a theoretical mathematician turned bioinformatician who is passionate about coding exceptionally elegant algorithms and user interfaces, like those in SimpliFi. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science at Stony Brook University, where he formerly designed and developed websites, games, educational software and algorithms in the Teaching Learning Lab to facilitate effective education. Mr. Palmeri's passion for games led him to Stony Brook's Computing for Good program where, he developed the NY Domestic Violence Prevention Game, a dialogue-driven game to educate high school students about teen dating violence in collaboration with Long Island Against Domestic Violence. A former student and current instructor at SUNY Old Westbury's Institute for Creative Problem Solving, Mr. Palmeri continues to give lectures on the power of math, logic and puzzles to audiences young and old.

Aleisha Benjamin

Associate Scientist

Ms. Benjamin is a scientist passionate about improving health. She obtained her BS in Biology with a minor in Health Sciences from SUNY Oswego, receiving multiple scholarships to study including a highly competitive NSF-S Stem Scholarship. An ambitious person, Ms. Benjamin became a volunteer EMT-B at the age of 18 and was awarded a meritorious service award from the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council of Oswego County. She held three jobs as an undergraduate including as an emergency room medical scribe. Ms. Benjamin served as a peer advisor in the counseling center where she educated about mental health. In the last two years as an undergrad, Ms. Benjamin was a member of BASIC (Brothers And Sisters In Christ) where she came to understand the importance of finding and staying on the path to fulfill one’s purpose. Her capstone research investigated the effects of microbiome bacteria in women’s health. Before joining ProtiFi, Ms. Benjamin manufactured protein intermediates in a biopharmaceutical company.

Mary Quigg

Operations Associate

Ms. Quigg makes sure that all customers get their product and works to provide an excellent customer experience.

Scientific Advisory Board

Prof. Dr. Darryl J.C. Pappin, Ph.D.

Dr. Peter K. Gregersen

Dr. Peter K. Gregersen received his MD from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1976. He has been an international leader in defining the genetics of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. In the 1990’s he founded and led the North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium (NARAC). There are now over 100 confirmed regions of genetic associations with RA; his recent studies in this area have defined the role of risk alleles in regulating quantitative immune traits relevant to autoimmunity. His other research interests include the genetic and environmental contributions to rare neurocognitive phenotypes including absolute pitch and synesthesia. In the last five years Dr. Gregersen has turned his attention to the study of endometriosis and has developed potential diagnostic approaches to this disorder through the analysis of menstrual effluent. Finally, during the current pandemic, has received major funding from the NCI to carry out longitudinal studies of immune function in patients with SARS-Cov-2, including the effects of vaccination. Dr. Gregersen is a recipient of the Distinguished Basic Investigator Award from the American College of Rheumatology and was elected to membership in the Association of American Physicians in 2009. He was awarded the Crafoord Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 2013 for his lifetime of work on rheumatoid arthritis.

Prof. Dr. Rebekah L. Gundry, Ph.D., FAHA

Prof. Dr. Rebekah L. Gundry, Ph.D., Fellow of the American Heart Association (FAHA), is the Department Vice Chair at University of Nebraska Medical Center and serves as Assistant Chief of Basic and Translational Research for the Division of Cardiology. Dr. Gundry is the inaugural Director of the CardiOmics Program which applies mass spectrometry technologies for advancing basic and translational cardiac research and clinical care. She works at the interface of proteomics, regenerative medicine and developmental biology by developing and applying innovative mass spectrometry approaches to study cell surface proteins and glycans especialy to stem cell and cardiac biology and disease. She brings this expertise to ProtiFi. Dr. Gundry has received extensive funding from American Heart Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, multiple NHLBI R01 awards and recently a prestigious 7-year NHLBI Emerging Investigator Award (R35). Her work has been repeatedly recognized including the inaugural Robert Cotter Young Investigator Award from US HUPO in 2013, Outstanding Graduate and Medical School Educator Awards in 2017 and 2018. Dr. Gundry is actively involved in the biomedical community where she promotes a broad range of molecular-level research from biomarker discovery and validation to mechanistic studies as well as educational opportunities to further the use of mass spec in our understanding of biology. She was recently appointed Associate Editor of the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, is a Council Member of HUPO, Co-Chair of the HUPO B/D HPP Cardiovascular Initiative, and is on the Board of Directors of US HUPO.

Christine Miller

Christine Miller, MS worked over 31 years in the LCMS and liquid chromatography departments of Agilent. Prior to retiring in 2020, Miller served as the Omics Market Manager for Academic and Government Life Science Research where she focused on solutions for omics researchers including metabolomics, proteomics, lipidomics and metabolomics across Agilent’s portfolio of products. Miller brings a wealth of scientific and commercial experience to ProtiFi including expertise in multi-omics workflows and field training, cross-functional collaboration to apply proteomics in diverse applications including foods, technical marketing, customer interactions, scientific collaborations, customer workflow-centric product definitions, proteomic market sensing/strategies, business development, cross-functional collaboration, marketing collateral development and global/cross-cultural communications. Even after her retirement from Agilent, Miller continues to champion LCMS proteomics. Miller is the recipient of multiple patents including Ionization of neutral gas-phase molecules and mass calibrants (US20080067356A1); Linear high-throughput proteomics (US7,550,259, 2009); Apparatuses, methods and compositions for ionization of samples and mass calibrants (US7,737,395); Deconvolution of multiply charged ions (US6,104,027); Polypeptide inhibiting juvenile hormone synthesis in lepidoptera known as lepidoptera allatostatin and analogues thereof (EU0421935). Prior to her storied career at Agilent, Miller was a senior scientist in the biochemistry group that isolated and identified non-toxic bioactive peptides for insect control. Miller obtained her MS at the University of Miami in Marine Biochemistry and her BS in Chemistry and Biology at Texas Christian University.

Prof. Dr. Nikolai Slavov, Ph.D.

Nikolai Slavov is a professor at Northeastern University and an Allen Distinguished Investigator. His group seeks principles in the coordination among protein synthesis, metabolism, cell growth and differentiation. The Slavov group has pioneered high-throughput mass-spectrometry methods for quantifying proteins in single cells and is developing new computational methods for analyzing and understanding single-cell proteomics and multimodal data. The group obtained direct evidence for a new regulatory mechanism of protein synthesis (ribosome specialization) and continues to drive research in this emerging field supported by the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. Nikolai Slavov studied biology and physics at MIT before completing a dissertation at Princeton University (Botstein laboratory) with research focused on the coordination among metabolism, growth and gene expression. Dr. Slavov then returned to MIT (van Oudenaarden laboratory) for post-doctoral research that characterized trade-offs of aerobic glycolysis. Professor Slavov actively organizes community initiatives, such as the annual single-cell proteomics conference (single-cell.net/), which is a highly interactive and interdisciplinary meeting. He also participates and contributes to organizing other leading conferences, including NeurIPS and HUPO.