Professor of Drug Metabolism and Molecular Toxicology, Imperial College London, UK
Qualities of an innovative thinker? If I were Mark Twain, I would probably say something like “laziness combined with intelligence and ambition” – such a person will find the quickest and simplest way to achieve their aims… But I’m not a truly innovative thinker like Mark Twain was!
Picking a problem… These days the problems tend to find me! Otherwise, I find that looking at one or two past problems that couldn’t be solved with technology available at the time, provides some interesting opportunities.
Making the most out of your invention… Finding the right applications. There is no point in inventing/innovating if there is no practical use for the product.
Most exciting development or trend? For me, it’s the combination of highly efficient LC linked to ion mobility and mass spectrometry. Exploring what this combination can do with applications in omics and drug metabolism will keep me very busy for the next few years…
Biggest challenge facing the field? The explosion of journal numbers, and their desperate need for manuscripts, means that a lot of nonsense is getting into print….
Book for scientists? “The Double Helix”(James D. Watson) or alternatively “The Voyage of the Beagle” (Charles Darwin), or, if you want a good laugh instead I can recommend “Dancing Naked in the Mindfield” by Cary Mullis (completely bonkers and he still managed to get a Nobel Prize!).