Professor of Chemistry and Pharmacology, Department of Chemistry, University of Michigan, USA
A mentor or educator who inspired you? My PhD and Postdoc advisors Jim Jorgenson and Mark Wightman were creative, hard-working, and enthusiastic – great role models as mentors and scientists. Additionally, Ralph Adams has always been an inspiration to me from afar as the first person to conceive putting electrochemical sensors in the brain to measure neurotransmitters. This was an amazing example of bioanalytical chemistry before it was even called that. More than that though, he was revered by all of his students and colleagues as a charismatic figure. Together, this cohort really helped develop analytical neurochemistry as an interdisciplinary discipline.
Qualities of a successful mentor or educator? Genuine interest in the student/mentee. I think if you are interested in your students and mentees as people, everything else that you need such as enthusiasm, willingness to support, and putting their interest first will flow from it. You should also find out what motivates them, which is the first step to finding the right projects and type of study.
Attracting talent…I think the efforts to increase diversity and inclusion are critical to attract the deepest pool of talent possible. Hopefully there are more funding initiatives for areas where separations are essential (such as metabolomes, proteomes, and lipidomes) to widen the pipeline of scientists across academia and industry. I believe that promotional efforts are helpful in getting people interested, and it also reminds us of the heritage of innovation across the field – Nobel Prize winners and other exemplary scientists have come from an analytical science background.