Dr. Willard’s expertise is in the use of mass spectrometry-based proteomics in the study of biological systems. She has contributed to numerous studies on the identification of post-translational modification through the identification of modifications on specific proteins. Dr. Willard has also been involved in the design and analysis of experiments related to the identification of global phosphorylation,acetylation, nitrosylation, and the analysis of lipid oxidized peptides.
Dr. Willard has twenty years experience working with using mass spectrometry as an analytical tool, starting with her use of mass spectrometry to understand how organo-silicon ions fragment in the gas phase. Her initial work in the Proteomics Core involved trying to better understand how peptides fragment in a mass spectrometer.