The Power List 2016
Full Professor of Food Chemistry, Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Biologiche, Farmaceutiche ed Ambientali, Università di Messina, Italy
Passion: My driving force is curiosity and willingness to acquire new knowledge. The evolution of techniques available for the isolation and characterization of natural molecules starting from the end of 19th century to now is fascinating; for many natural molecules, the exact structure was inferred many decades after their first isolation, meanwhile exotic names were assigned to remember their odor or the plant they came from – names that are still in use!
Pivotal moment: From 2002-2005 we took part in the RTN EU project COM-CHROM (training young researchers in miniaturized comprehensive liquid chromatography), coordinated by Tyge Greibrokk (University of Oslo, Norway) and developed our first LC×LC system and applied it to the analysis of natural products in the “unusual” configuration NPLC×RPLC. It was a quite an unexplored field at that time and we were showing promising results. I was invited by Pat Sandra to present our work at HPLC meeting in Gent in 2003 and at ISCC in Riva del Garda in 2004 and 2006. The technique attracted a lot of interest, and has led to our group being involved in several new projects and collaborations over the last ten years.
Prediction: Many advances in the separation science field are changing our lives. In my opinion, the most significant will be those in the field of miniaturization. Other important trends are in the field of portable and integrated instruments, possibly also allowing for remote control and operation. In this way, women would be given a unique opportunity to carry on their research while having dinner ready for their family!