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Past Recipients of the Robert J. Cotter New Investigator Award

  • 2020: Si Wu (University of Oklahoma) and Nick Young (Baylor College of Medicine) 
  • 2019: Wilhelm Haas (MassGeneral Hospital Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School)
  • 2018: Leslie Hicks (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
  • 2017: Peter Nemes (George Washington University) and Christine Vogel (New York University)
  • 2016: Paola Picotti (ETH Zurich)
  • 2015: Bernd Bodenmiller (University of Zurich)
  • 2014: Judit Villen (University of Washington)
  • 2013: Rebecca Gundry (University of Nebraska Medical Center)

Robert J. Cotter New Investigator Award

This award was established to honor the memory of Bob Cotter, a founding member of US HUPO, for his many contributions to scientific research and for his legacy as a mentor to young scientists.  Each year, the award will be given to an individual early in his or her career, in recognition of significant achievements in proteomics, broadly defined. 

Nominations are now closed for the year. Nominations will be held for three years.


  • The nominee must be a current US HUPO Member.
  • Nominee must be within the first five years of their first faculty appointment at the time of nomination submission.
  • The awardee must be available to present at the annual conference (March 7-10, 2021) to receive the award and present the lecture (virtually or in-person, pending the status of the COVID-19 pandemic).

Instructions and Deadlines

The award application must be completed in full to be considered, so please ensure you have all the required documents prior to submitting.

Please collate all materials, including the required supporting documentation into a single PDF prior to uploading. The PDF should include the following documents:

  1. Short description from the nominator (or nominee if self-nominating) highlighting the applicant's research achievements (two-page maximum).
  2. List and describe the Nominee’s role in and most significant findings from their most relevant publications (up to six publications; up to three pages)
  3. Two letters of reference supporting the nomination.
  4. Nominee's curriculum vitae.

The nomination form must be completed in its entirety to be considered. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

The deadline to submit a nomination is Friday, November 13, 2020. Late applications will not be reviewed. Award notifications will be sent to recipients and nominators on December 11, 2020. 


Si Wu, University of Oklahoma

Dr. Wu received her B.S. in Chemistry from Anhui University, and Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry at the Washington State University with Professor James E. Bruce.  She conducted her postdoctoral research on top-down proteomics at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) with Drs. Ljiljiana Paša-Toli; and Richard D. Smith. Later, she worked as a research scientist at Battelle Toxicology Northwest and a senior scientist at PNNL.  In 2015, she joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Oklahoma as an assistant professor.  Her research interests focus on developing and applying high-throughput quantitative top-down proteomics techniques for addressing important clinical and biological questions.

Nicolas L. Young, Baylor College of Medicine

Nicolas Young is an Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine since 2016. Dr. Young received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Davis with Professor Carlito Lebrilla. He received postdoctoral training at Princeton University in the Department of Molecular Biology with Professor Benjamin Garcia. He has also worked as the Director of Biological Applications at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory with Professor Alan Marshall, as a Staff Scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and in the biotechnology industry. Dr. Young uses proteomics to elucidate the mechanisms by which protein post-translational modifications modulate gene transcription and gene expression. In this endeavor he has developed methods for the identification and quantitation of extensively modified proteins by top and middle down proteomics. This work has involved the development of chromatographies that separate structural isomers of large peptides and intact proteins, mass spectrometry methods, data analysis algorithms for mixed tandem mass spectra, and methods for data interpretation to reveal mechanisms and biological function. His results have unveiled fundamental biological mechanisms and informed novel therapeutic routes for the treatment of disease.

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