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Herbert Oberacher

The Power List 2014

Herbert Oberacher

Associate Professor, Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry Group, Institute of Legal Medicine and Core Facility Metabolomics, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria.

Calling: “As an undergraduate, I had inspiring teachers who awakened my interest in analytical chemistry. After finishing my PhD thesis, I had several offers. I decided to go for an academic career.”

Regret: “I would make some modifications, but I would not choose a complete different path.”

: “With my group, I am developing workflows for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of (bio)organic molecules that find immediate application in life sciences.”

Triumph: “The development of the first reliable, robust, and universal tandem mass spectral library dedicated for small molecular identification.”

: Two “local heroes”: Fritz Pregl won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1923 for making important contributions to quantitative organic microanalysis, one of which was the improvement of the combustion train technique for elemental analysis.
Klaus Biemann is a professor emeritus of chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Biemann’s work was centered on structural analysis in organic and biochemistry. He has been called as one of the ‘fathers of organic mass spectrometry.’

: “I hope that I will stay curious and excited. As I am bubbling over with ideas, I hope that I will get the chance to put them into practice.”

Prediction: “I do not expect that one groundbreaking technology will appear within the next five years that will completely change bioanalytical chemistry as a whole. Nevertheless, I expect that miniaturized, transportable high-resolution mass spectrometers could make a significant contribution to onsite analytics (for example, forensics, food, and environment).”

Advice: “Develop a carrier plan. Work hard. Be open-minded. Take risks and opportunities.”

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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