The Power List 2020 – Africa
UPLC-IMS-HDMS Facility Manager, Department of Chemistry, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Reason for pursuing analytical science: My first and foremost interest is in the field of chemistry. Chemistry provides us with the means, methodology, and understanding to investigate and solve some of the most pressing concerns of our time. Climate change, food safety, water quality, and the burden of disease are just some of the challenges we face. I made the choice to specialize in analytical chemistry because the field provided me with the tools to gather, communicate, and process important information on some of these issues.
Future of the field: MS is my passion and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. It is already being used for forensic detectors, newborn screening tools, breath analyzers, and antibiotic resistance profiling. I predict that it will be used in even more fields, even by the layperson. Handheld spectrometers could be used for rapid disease screening. They could even be used at home to monitor water quality or test food for pesticides. Most importantly, I see new, expansive compound libraries, comprising vast arrays of compound information from various analytical sources, that will simplify the detection of unknown compounds.
Advice to younger self: The three most important things I would tell my younger self are: i) plan ahead – this can drive and motivate you – but don’t fixate on a single plan, because it will likely change; ii) pursue your passions; and iii) never stop learning.