Recognizing Plant Cell authors: Cole Wunderlich

Cole Wunderlich, first author of Metabolic source isotopic pair labeling and genome wide association are complementary tools for the identification of metabolite-gene associations in plants

Current Position: PhD Student, Simons Center for Quantitative Biology, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY

Education: Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Purdue University

Non-scientific Interests: skiing, Tennis, coffee, Biblical Studies, reading, power lifting

Brief bio: My love of science started at very young age, mixing oil, water, and various kitchen spices together in a bowl all the while proclaiming to my mother that I was “going to find the cure for cancer!”  This led me to attend the Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center where I discovered my love for programming and learned how to truly think like a scientist.  I also received my first exposure to research, working in the lab of Dr. Brian Young at Western Michigan University on a stability assay for paper-based immunodiagnostic products.  I then went on to attend Purdue University, initially dual majoring in Biological Engineering and Biochemistry.  It was there I met Dr. Clint Chapple, who was working on my “dream” problem: genetically engineering plants to endogenously produce a biofuel.  I thought I would need a PhD to even begin working on something so complicated; but one thing led to another and soon I was in his lab combining my love of programming, biology, and chemistry to create PODiUM, the computational tool featured in this article.  I have continued to pursue my passion for combining programming and biology in the lab of Molly Gale Hammell at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory where I work on developing tools for the quantification of transposon expression in single-cell data and their application in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.