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Deirdre Cabooter

Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, University of Leuven, Belgium

A mentor or educator who inspired you? My biggest source of inspiration is Gert Desmet, who was the promoter of both my Master and PhD thesis, and has remained a close collaborator and friend. I feel truly humbled and honored to be able to continue my work with him knowing how large his influence and impact is in the field. Gert is enthusiastic, inspiring, motivating and overall just very kind. He never says “that sounds like a bad idea,” even when I am doubtful myself – he’s always up for a challenge and encourages me to do the same. 

Qualities of a successful mentor or educator? As an educator/teacher: convey your enthusiasm about the subject you are teaching to students. Show your passion for what you are doing and demonstrate the relevance of it in day-to-day life, ideally with examples that speak to the mind. 

As a mentor: be as accessible as possible and have regular meetings with your students. Show that you care and stay closely involved in their research, giving feedback where needed. Doing a PhD can be tough, especially towards the end when time is running out. In such moments, it is important to be supportive, help out where possible, and assure all will be well in the end.

Attracting talent… We need to stress the importance of separation sciences across a variety of fields: environmental, food, clinical, pharmaceutical, chemical, cosmetic… A skilled analyst has so many opportunities! We have to stop seeing ourselves as a tool at the service of these disciplines and take pride in all the ongoing developments that improve and increase the output generated in these fields.

Biggest challenge facing the field?We need to ensure that students are sufficiently trained in the fundamentals, so they can adequately troubleshoot and truly understand what they are doing and for what reason. I am a little worried about some evolutions taking place in our education system at the moment, where there seems to be an increasing interest in developing soft skills at the cost of the basics. Of course, soft skills are important as well, but I think these can more easily be developed at a later stage when you’re already active in a professional environment. It becomes much harder to catch up on the basics at later stages.

Most exciting development or trend? Artificial intelligence to rationalize, speed up, and automate the analytical workflow.

Part of the Power List 2021

Read more

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

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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 2018

The Fab Forty

The Top 40 Under 40 Power List returns to celebrate the gifted young scientists making waves in analytical science. Here we present the rising stars of the field (in alphabetical order), as nominated by our readers and shortlisted by our independent judging panel.

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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.

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Part of the Power List 2016

Top 50 most influential women

With three somewhat provocative Power Lists behind us (but certainly not forgotten), we once again forge ahead with our mission: to prove just how impactful and diverse our field is by sharing the passions, pivotal moments and predictions of brilliant scientists who continue to shape our future.

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Part of the Power List 2014

Top 40 Under 40

In 2013, we compiled a list of the Top 100 most influential analytical scientists – an endeavor that received a significant amount of attention and, it’s fair to say, caused more than a little controversy. Our 2014 Top 40 Under 40 list almost halves the average age of the celebrated individuals, with many of them born in the same year as the iconic Sex Pistols cover – 1977.

Go to The Power List 2014

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