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Ron Heeren

Distinguished Professor, Maastricht University; Director, M4i, The Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging institute; Member of the Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences, The Netherlands

Qualities of an innovative thinker? Approach the world as if no boundaries on what is possible exist. Or stated differently, think in possibilities and not in restrictions. As soon as you think in restrictions, you limit your own possibilities to move beyond the state-of-the-art. This quality is amplified if combined with a healthy dose of curiosity regarding the world around you. Many innovations also occur serendipitously and unexpectedly following a surprise discovery or meeting with a colleague that asks an unexpected question that triggers you to think out of the box.

Making the most out of your invention… Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration! The translation of innovations into an applied domain requires the involvement of domain experts and people that complement one's own expertise to maximize impact. Making the most out of an invention/innovation is, just like the research itself, teamwork. I have been lucky enough to work with a very diverse team that helps me see and evaluate different perspectives. This is vital to avoid getting stuck in a particular line of thought or approach and to keep on innovating.

Picking a problem… Find the most impactful question first, and define where you, with your own expertise and with the expertise of a team of talented colleagues, can make a difference. Next find the right internal or external collaborators who are interested in such a development. Ideally it should be an interdisciplinary activity – that helps to expand the horizons of all involved.

Book for scientists? The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. 

Part of the Power List 2021

Read more

Welcome to our annual celebration of the world’s most influential analytical scientists!

Go to The Power List 2021

Part of the Power List 2019

The Top 100

This year we’ve returned to our Top 100 format for The Power List, showcasing the tremendous range of talent, ingenuity and leadership present across all corners of analytical science on a global scale.

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Part of the Power List 2017

The Magnificent Tens

The Magnificent Tens
After 2016’s celebration of women in analytical science, we return to the Top 100 for 2017.
But there’s a twist. This summer, we asked you to nominate scientists in ten categories – from the stars of separation science, to omics explorers, to the mentors training the next generation.

Go to The Power List 2017

Part of the Power List 2015

100 reasons to be proud

Welcome to The Power List 2015 – our second foray into the Top 100 most influential people in the world of analytical science. Though we realize our list can (and should) never be definitive, who can argue that the faces within – both familiar and new – do not beautifully highlight the brilliance and diversity found within our sometimes undervalued field?

Go to The Power List 2015

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