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Gary Hieftje

Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry, Indiana University, USA

A mentor or educator who has inspired you? My doctoral research advisor Howard V. Malmstadt had a great influence on me. Alongside providing resources and support, he also provided me with the freedom to pursue the research directions I chose with confidence. The effectiveness of this approach is clear from the many graduates of his program that later assumed faculty positions at some of the most prestigious analytical chemistry schools across the world. Howard’s dedication to teaching and research in an educational institution is reflected in the attitudes and careers of most of those graduates – myself included.

Qualities of a successful mentor and educator? Enthusiasm. If the advisor or educator isn’t excited about the research or teaching subject, how can the mentee be?

Attracting talent… Analytical science is often viewed as the servant of other disciplines. We need to raise the stature of our field by highlighting basic discoveries and new inventions that open up entirely new avenues of scientific investigation. As Sir Humphry Davy once said, “Nothing begets good science like the development of a good instrument."

The decade’s most important development? Although its introduction is now more than ten years ago, I believe the invention of mass cytometry has been one of the most important within our field. It enables single cells or collections of them to be detected and identified in a continuous manner – creating new opportunities in biomolecular and biomedical characterization.

Biggest challenge facing the field? Excessive concentration on applications and chasing the most recent “hot” problem instead of emphasizing fundamental research and the development of novel instruments and methods. The latter will build the field and break ground for the future. Additionally, the rapid emergency of artificial intelligence is likely to affect analytical activities in the applied areas rather than in fundamental or hypothesis-driven research.

Part of the Power List 2021

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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 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?

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Part of the Power List 2013

100 most influential people

That’s the question we posed to ourselves – and then to you – over two months ago, ahead of open nominations and a painstaking judging process. Here, without further ado, we celebrate the answer.

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