MSRC Bioinformatics

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MSRC Bioinformatics Core Personnel


Scott Sobecki


(615) 936-1048

I graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Computer Information Systems in 1999. I spent the first three years of my time at "IU" pursuing a Biology / Chemistry degree in a pre-med program.

After many years of shadowing doctors at local hospitals, I made the difficult decision to change my career direction to focus on my hobby of computer programming. I had already been working for the university performing server administration and website development (before it was "cool"), so the transition was fairly smooth.

I took a job with Deloitte Consulting as a Systems Analyst in Chicago after graduation. I was soon promoted and given the responsibility of managing a team of developers based in Nashville. I was eventually offered a permanent position in Nashville where I managed several global applications dealing with knowledge management and other business functions.

In 2005, I was hired by Vanderbilt University to manage the development of software in a bioinformatics group. It was great to finally combine my passion for the sciences with my skills in technology. I am currently working on applications to analyze data from multiple experimentation groups and to assist with MALDI profiling.

The Tabb Lab

David Tabb


(615) 936-0380

I began working in mass spectrometry in 1996, when I became John Yates' graduate student at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. In 2000, the laboratory moved to The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, CA.

While there, I created the DTASelect / Contrast proteomics data mining software as well as the GutenTag sequence tagging algorithm. I also focused on the statistical characterization of gas-phase peptide fragmentation. As graduation approached, a collaboration at a distance with Nathan VerBerkmoes led me to consider the merits of working in a National Lab.

In 2003, I joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a post-doctoral fellow supporting the Genomics: Genomes To Life effort. While at Oak Ridge, I created DBDigger, a rapid, accurate database search algorithm; MS2Grouper, a tool to reduce spectral duplication in proteomic datasets; and the MS2ZAssign and Tact software packages for inferring charge states of peptide and protein ions from high-resolution MS data. During this interval, I collaborated with Sean Davey through Vanderbilt University in the creation of a tool to reduce duplicates in LTQ datasets.

In August of 2005, I joined the faculty at Vanderbilt to create new tools in support of clinical mass spectrometry. I am focusing on the problems of identifying sequence variation and unanticipated post-translational modifications. I hope to work in lipid identification and quantitation as well.

Matthew Chambers


(615) 343-2700

They call me Matt. I was born and raised here in Nashville. Before long, it was discovered that I suffered from the incurable geek disease, so before I even got to high school I had taught myself to program. Though I enjoyed and did pretty well at chemistry in school, it came as something of a surprise to me when I ended up working here at the Vanderbilt MSRC.

After graduating from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in May of 2005 with a BS in computer science, I pursued a development career in the (computer) gaming industry for several months. Gaming and game development are my favorite pastimes.

However, after discovering I did not have the formal (industry-based) experience necessary to get the kind of position I wanted with a game developer, I looked for a more general programming job. I was fortunate enough to find David Tabb who was looking for a programmer to help him with his new research into shotgun proteomic analysis. I was intrigued with the position despite having little formal background in biochemistry. Since October 2005, I've been signed up to work with this highly experienced group at the MSRC, and I've enjoyed every minute of it so far.

I have worked on many projects both in school and in my free time. From 2004-2005 I worked with a team of artists and designers to create a game based on the Half-Life 2 engine. Later in 2005 I worked on building an experimental game engine of my own. I also developed applications and provided some consulting services for friends and relatives that requested them for their businesses.


Application Development

Bill Schultz


(615) 936-6401

I graduated from Belmont University in 1998 with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology, and started playing the baritone saxophone in a jazz/funk band called the Guy Smiley Blues Exchange. I was able to do this for about 4 years until a number of factors coincided, leading me to cut my hair and get a real job. As a result I started working for a law firm in downtown Nashville as Manager of Information Systems and found a new passion.

In 2004 I received a Masters of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from the University of Phoenix and I am certified as a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), and Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP).

When I am not on a computer, I like to stay active playing sports. I enjoy playing any sport, but lately I am spending the most time climbing at a local rock climbing gym or swinging away at golf balls. I should also mention that I play some mean ping-pong and foosball.

Matt Cox


(615) 936-8556

Bio not available

Tina Tsui


(615)  875-9856

I graduated in 1984 from University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts in Physics.  During my senior year, I worked at Penn's Department of Physics Tandem Accelerator Lab where I wrote FORTRAN programs to run on IBM 4341 and PDP-11.  After graduation, the IBM PC became common place in the business world.  I  discovered a much friendlier programming environment on the IBM PC than submitting batch jobs to an IBM mainframe, so I decided to focus on computer programming as a career.  Since then, I have picked up over two dozen programming languages, several operating systems, and various database and technology platforms while developing and maintaining software applications for a marketing research firm, the US Army, various clients as a systems consultant, a banking software provider, and an Internet startup. 

I felt a little deja-vu when I started working at MSRC in 2008 since the spectra from mass spectrometry reminded me of the energy histograms for which I wrote subroutines for plotting to Calcomp plotter at Penn.  However, over the years there have been dramatic changes in technology. The PDP-11 had only 256 kilobytes of RAM memory and data from experiments were stored on magnetic tapes compared to the clustered, parallel computing environment we have available at Vanderbilt's ACCRE department.  It's really exciting to be part of a team at MSRC that supports the analysis of thousands of spectra in a single run through a collection of specialized statistical and data visualization software, and the management of terabytes of data.  This is definitely the most challenging position I have ever held and I am enjoying every minute of it working with the best scientists and top-notch informatics professionals.

Outside of work, I'm mainly focused on keeping up with my family: my husband and our two children.  So far I've picked up roller skating, karate, and tennis as our kids go through their phases of interests in these activities.  We also enjoy hiking and canoeing.  On the geeky side, I am teaching my son computer programming using E-toys (based on Squeak Smalltalk) on an XO laptop.  In my spare time, I enjoy reading and knitting which are also activities I like to share with children by volunteering as a reading companion and knitting instructor at my children's school.

This page was last updated July 6, 2012 and is maintained by