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Ljiljana Paša-Tolic

The Power List 2021

Laboratory Fellow and Lead Scientist, Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA

Biggest breakthrough? Over the last decade, the scientific community has embraced the challenge of single-cell and single-particle measurement technologies. The advancements in these technologies are of paramount importance to understand and control biology at the cellular level for human health and the planet’s health.

Biggest challenge… Predictive understanding of molecular processes underpinning biological and ecosystem functions is the grand challenge in analytical chemistry. To address this challenge, we need to extract local molecular information within cells and at various interfaces, including molecular identity and quantity and their relationships, structure and localization. This will require quantum leaps in precision, accuracy, sensitivity, throughput, and the ability to make measurements in real-time and in situ. This will also require better integration between omics and imaging technologies; for example, the realization of visual proteomics by combining electron microscopy and MS with advanced computing and modeling. The science community needs to go smaller, faster, and together.

Advice? “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” This quote by Maya Angelou has helped me navigate through many professional and personal challenges. No matter what happens, you can take the next step, react, and respond in your own way.

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