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Boniek Gontijo Vaz

Professor, Chemistry Institute, Federal University of Goiás, Brazil

Secret to success? I came from a small city in Brazil’s countryside and grew up on a small farm with my family, where I always helped my dad with farmers’ duties, as well as studying. At that time, we didn’t have electricity on the farm, so I didn’t have access to a TV or a computer. I think “without the distractions,” I turned my attention to the nature surrounding me. I am very curious about natural things. My parents sometimes helped me with some intriguing questions, but sometimes they could not. So, through books, I used  “travel” to different worlds and find answers. My parents always encouraged me to study, despite the challenges we faced. So I credit my parents as well as my family – my wife and my sons, who have been my anchor.

In addition, I credit my supervisor Marcos Eberlin. “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” He helps spread and increase mass spectrometry across South America and worldwide. He made great contributions to the field, forming in the process an army of mass spectrometrists. Finally, I also credit much of my success to my wonderful and brilliant group: LaCEM. I am very fortunate to have been surrounded by spectacular students and researchers for the past 10 years of my career. This recognition is dedicated to all of them – the former and current members of LaCEM; and to LaCEM’s sponsors who believe in our work.

Advice? Don’t fear failure; instead, accept and grow from them. Science is composed mostly of failures. We must always keep going and trying. Dedication and consistency are the way. Dream and maintain a deep desire for your goal to find persistence and give you the energy and focus to keep trying to reach your goals. Never give up.

Part of the Power List 2022

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Here, we celebrate analytical science’s rising stars, who will, hopefully, provide the answers to the 21st century’s biggest questions.

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