Scientist Focus: Jason Watts, Ph.D.

Jason Watts, Ph.D., is a senior scientist at Alturas Analytics, Inc., focusing on HPLC-MS/MS techniques for method development, validation, and sample analysis of new chemical entities and biomolecules.  A diverse background in molecular genetics and animal nutrition, coupled with over ten years of applied mass spectrometry experience, provides the expertise vital to delivery of innovative solutions to bioanalytical challenges.

What inspired you to become a scientist?
My worldview has been greatly shaped by my love of Star Trek: The Next Generation. This is a world in which problems are solved by reason  and the scientific method. Becoming a scientist was the logical thing to do.

Did anything make science memorable for you when you were younger?  
When I was a child everyone I knew got chickenpox.  When a kid you knew got it, our families would throw a party to try to expose their children. It was a madness that we all just accepted as a normal part of life. And then the vaccine became widespread and it just stopped. Many people my age and older are covered in scars. A few years younger than me, nothing. Science did that.

What inspires you?
Everyday I get to work with a bunch of people who are a lot smarter than me. It’s great!

What are your favorite studies to analyze?
I like a challenge. At Alturas, we often get projects that other companies couldn’t get to work. Getting a method with a low limit of quantitation to work for a tough analyte…very satisfying.

Why is science cool?
Learning and curiosity are the basis of science. Alexander Fleming’s curiosity about the mold growing on his bacterial plates led to penicillin saving untold millions of lives. I think that is pretty cool.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
We get to play a small, but critical role in developing truly novel treatments. We work with truly innovative clients and our combined efforts have tangible benefits for people.