The Inside Story

The Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging Institute (M4I) continues to break new ground in mass spectrometry imaging – providing doctors with better diagnostic tools, and giving us a close-up view of the complex molecular machinery that underpins health and disease.

By Ron Heeren

May 2018

Breaking boundaries is a key theme of my work, and pivotal to all fields of science. The motivating force of most scientists is to break through boundaries of knowledge – seeing something that no-one has seen before is an awe-inspiring experience. Whether they are building better microscopes to visualize molecules in a cell, or better telescopes to detect far-away stars, scientists have the same drive – they want to see what they cannot yet see.

On a more down-to-earth level, breaking boundaries between disciplines is a crucial facet of our work. We need to make sure that our knowledge crosses the boundaries of our own disciplines, to answer the big questions society faces. Whether it is in life science, food, water or energy, input is needed across the boundary of physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics. All of these different disciplines meet in analytical science, which is why our field lies at the base of so many great discoveries.