Dr. Robert Hettich is a distinguished research scientist in the Mass Spectrometry / Laser Spectroscopy Group of the Chemical Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and a joint faculty member in the Microbiology Department at the University of Tennessee. Robert Hettich obtained a B.Sc. in chemistry from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 1982. He obtained a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Purdue University in West Lafayette in 1986 and then joined the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He has over 30 years of experience in biological mass spectrometry, with a particular focus on high performance mass spectrometry.
His research interests involve the development and demonstration of advanced mass spectrometry technology for characterizing complex biological mixtures, such as microbial proteomes, and for examining higher order protein structures.
Hettich’s lab has demonstrated the application of high performance mass spectrometric approaches for characterizing normal and variant versions of proteins obtained by various purification approaches, as well as metaproteomic measurements from environmental microbial communities (acid mine drainage biofilms, human gut microbiome), and symbiotic microbe/microbe or microbe/plant partnerships.
He has authored more than 235 publications, and is active in mentoring graduate students, as well as teaching analytical technology and advanced biological mass spectrometry classes.