Up Close and Personal With Jeff Plomley, M.Sc., Scientific Director, Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry
Jeff received his graduate degree in Chemistry from Queens University. He focused the first decade of his career in mass spectrometry on instrumentation research and product development, designing novel scan functions for both 2D and 3D ion traps. In 2001, his mass spectrometry interest shifted to application development, and he has since worked in both preclinical and clinical contract research environments developing bioanalytical methods for over 250 de novo molecules.
Jeff joined Altasciences in 2016, and currently leads a team of research scientists tasked with developing best-in-industry LC-MS assays. He has contributed to a multitude of peer-reviewed publications, holds mass spectrometry patents, andhosted a podcast series with Altasciences on recent advancements in microsampling, one of his many research passions.
With more than 30 years of experience leveraging LC-MS technology to solve analytical challenges, Jeff has an intimate understanding of the critical workflows necessary to best support sponsors in their drug development program.
Get to know Jeff with this Q&A:
Q: Why did you choose this profession?
JP: I had two major influences in my career path, the earliest being my grade 13 chemistry teacher whose opening chalk-board scribble asked, “What in the world isn’t Chemistry?”—a rather profound query which simultaneously intrigued me and cemented the enormity of applicability for this field of study. Fast-forward to fourth year university in Physical Chemistry, and I was extremely blessed to have met my mentor, Professor Raymond March, a world-renowned mass spectrometry scientist who so eloquently conveyed the power of the technique. Following graduate school, Professor March continued to inspire as I was offered a research position in his gas phase ion chemistry laboratory, publishing more mass spectrometry papers than I can recall. Many years later, I landed a position at SCIEX, whose majority market for their triple-stage quadrupole product line was the pharma/CRO industry. I had enormous exposure to mass spectrometry as an enabling technology for advancing drug development. To this day, that applicability still inspires.
Q: WhAT do you like most about your life at Altasciences?
JP: Without a doubt, it’s the reward of collaborating with our exceptionally talented scientists on a daily basis to solve our clients’ most pressing bioanalytical challenges. I also enjoy the many other tasks inherent to the Scientific Director role… No two days are ever the same! One day I might be scripting an issue of The Altascientist; the next, I'm hopping on a client call to provide scientific support to our colleagues in Business Development, Project Management, and Client Management; or I'm working on the next conference presentation or podcast.
Q: WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING IN YOUR FREE TIME?
JP: I have been passionate about photography since my early 20s, and that passion has been a continuing thread throughout my life. In the 90s, it led me to explore many of the National Parks in the U.S.A. to capture the majesty of the landscape on 4x5 film, followed by a foray into wildlife photography from 2001 to 2010. Nowadays, I enjoy traveling for documentary projects and am currently working on a reportage about the ever-increasing westernization of Romania.
Q: What is one of your proudest achievements? (career or personal)
JP: Career-wise, that would have to be U.S. Patent No. 6,815,673 detailing the Use of Notched Broadband Waveforms in a Linear Ion Trap…I have many fond memories of “dancing with ions”. My proudest personal achievement was having my reportage on Cuba published in Leica Fotografie International following three consecutive visits off the beaten path to document the daily hardships of Cubans living in this “Raw State.”
Q: WHAT IS A QUOTE THat's meaningful to you?
JP: “Everyone here has the sense that right now is one of those moments when we are influencing the future.” - Steve Jobs.
I believe the quote aligns exceptionally well with the momentum and commitment of Altasciences’ staff for Moving in Unisonto achieve a truly integrated approach for therapeutic advancement that undoubtedly impacts the lives of so many patients.