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Dr. Jonathan Kirk PhD

Dr. Jonathan Kirk PhD

CAMS Program Director, Vice Chair, Cell and Molecular Physiology

Dr. Jonathan Kirk is the director of the Clinical and Applied Mass Spectrometry Master of Science program at Loyola University.

- PhD at University of Pittsburgh (Bioengineering)
- Postdoc at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Dr. Kirk began working at Loyola in 2015 as part of the Physiology department and quickly emerged as a leader when it came to identifying the educational needs of students.

Having studied Bioengineering at Washington State University and University of Pittsburgh, he went on to complete his Postdoc at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where he trained in Mass Spectrometry with Dr. Jennifer Van Eyk. Since that time, Dr. Kirk has continued to develop his expertise in Mass Spectrometry and was one of the primary parties responsible for identifying the significant lack of proper education for those who want to work in this exciting scientific field

“Failure is temporary, success is cumulative.”

Dr. Toni Pak PhD

Dr. Toni Pak PhD

James R. Depauw Professor and Chair, Cell and Molecular Physiology

Cell and Molecular Physiology Departmental chief, Dr. Toni Pak, has worked at Loyola University Chicago for 15 years, after moving here from Colorado State University.

- PhD at University of Colorado Boulder (Neuroscience)
- MA in Science Education
- Certified in Clinical Mass Spectrometry (AACC)

Throughout her life, Dr. Pak has loved science. She considers it very exciting to be at the forefront of discovering new knowledge and remains thrilled that she is able to make a career of it; earning a living for the privilege. In her role as part of the Clinical and Applied Mass Spectrometry Program, Dr Pak will be teaching the proteomics Capstone Project. She believes that the program is a remarkable opportunity, since it is the first of its kind, and provides students with immediate transferable skills for this rapidly growing, innovative job market.

Her research in nuclear steroid receptor-mediated gene expression uses both targeted and discovery-based mass spectrometry approaches. The targeted approaches are designed to measure absolute amounts of phosphorylated amino acid residues on nuclear receptor proteins. The discovery approaches use proximity dependent labeling to identify transcription factor complexes in neurons.

Dr. Peter Kekenes-Huskey PhD

Dr. Peter Kekenes-Huskey PhD

Associate Professor in Cell and Molecular Physiology

Dr. Peter Kekenes-Huskey achieved his PhD at the California Institute of Technology after completing his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina, Asheville.

Dr. Kekenes-Huskey came to Loyola University Chicago from the University of Kentucky and has been a professor of Chemistry since he joined two years ago. He is well versed in the theory and application of Mass Spectrometry because of his significant background in chemistry, and he is confident that the Masters in Clinical and Applied Mass Spectrometry will provide students with the opportunity to elevate the budding scientific community to be experts in a powerful, sought-after-omics field. We consider ourselves extraordinarily lucky to have him in the department and as part of the program, offering guidance in the units on “Chemistry of Protein Separation” and “Clinical Considerations and Biomarker Development.”

Dr. Patrick Oakes PhD

Dr. Patrick Oakes PhD

Associate Professor in Cell and Molecular Physiology

Dr. Patrick Oakes is building on a lifetime of curiosity. His fascination with how things work lead him to a career in physics because, at its heart, physics works to explain the world around us.

Since joining the Cell and Molecular Physiology Department at Loyola University Chicago in 2019, Dr. Oakes has been recognized as a valued expert in Biophysics so it is only natural that he be a significant contributor to the Clinical and Applied Mass Spectrometry Program. He views the program as “an excellent opportunity to get a broad based training in the fundamentals of mass spectrometry. This program will give students a leg up on careers that utilize mass spectrometry and given them an edge in applying their knowledge in unique situations.” Given his own journey through science, it should be no surprise that Dr. Oakes’ ideal student is someone who is both curious and passionate about what they are learning.

This program will give students a leg up on that utilize mass spectrometry careers

Mr Seby Edassery MS

Mr Seby Edassery MS

The newest member of the CAMS team, Seby Edassery is an expert in Mass Spectrometry that students can truly depend upon for their laboratory rotations.

Having transferred from Northwestern University earlier this year from the Department of Neurology where he worked diligently as a lab manager, Mr. Edassery arrived with the knowledge and lived experience to support our students as they go from learning the foundations of Mass Spectrometry to becoming experts in their own right.
Mr. Edassery’s experience working with Mass Spectrometry spans longer than ten years and he is confident that the CAMS Master of Science program is uniquely able to provide students with a very attractive career or academic path immediately upon graduation.
Mr. Edassery’s love of science has been lifelong and was initially sparked by his father, a science teacher himself, who still inspires him

Maureen O’Brien-Cruz MA

Maureen O’Brien-Cruz MA

Mrs. O’Brien-Cruz, our project coordinator and administrative support, comes from a broad educational background providing a unique environment for our students.

Starting her Loyola University Chicago career in November of 2021, Mrs. O’Brien-Cruz came to us from an Alternative High School in Chicago, her experience working with non-conventional education settings means that she is excited to help create a flexible course that is accessible to as many people as possible. Mrs. O’Brien-Cruz considers the Master of Science in Clinical and Applied Mass Spectrometry to be an excellent opportunity for any scientist or recent graduate who is hoping to work in their desired field and qualify for what is very clearly a growing career path.