Australian Research Council Future Fellow, Molecular Horizons, School of Chemistry and Molecular Bioscience, Australia
Fears? We get a bad rap as a “boring” field – just titrations and routine analysis. But it’s so much more – and truly multidisciplinary, bringing together engineering, chemistry, physics, biology and informatics. For example, look at all the cool instrument development that has occurred in the MSI field. People are developing highly complex instruments all the way from ion optics simulations, electronics, design and construction to their eventual testing and deployment. I would classify this as analytical chemistry too. To attract more younger scientists, we need to communicate how fascinating and broad analytical chemistry can be, as well as the many career opportunities it can open up.
Controversial opinion? I believe lipids are seen just as simple molecules that make up the lipid membrane, but they are intimately involved in many biological processes as proteins. We can learn a lot about disease mechanisms by studying how the lipidome is altered. This is why a significant research focus of ours is in the lipidomics field
Mission? I recently set up a new MSI laboratory at the University of Wollongong. A primary goal is to grow this into a world-class MSI laboratory with a broad and complementary set of capabilities. I also want to develop MSI techniques to the point where we know exactly what molecules and what biochemical processes we are visualizing. And after losing a very dear friend and colleague to cancer, I am also passionate about contributing to improving the capabilities for MSI so it can be deployed to help guide tissue diagnosis and treatment decisions and eventually improve the lives of patients.