The Power List 2016
Professor of Chemistry, School of Science and technology, University of Örebro, Örebro, Sweden
Passion: I work in metabolomics, with the goal of identifying novel biomarkers for specific diseases and to gain understanding of the metabolic pathways leading to diseases. It is fascinating how much information we can produce with novel analytical tools, and it is like detective work to find the key information among the myriad data, and then to link the information with the metabolic pathways and disease mechanisms. Here, it is essential to work closely together with people from other disciplines. It is always inspiring to work together, learn new things together and, in the best cases, make some really novel discoveries that are not only scientifically interesting, but can also help find practical solutions to health issues.
Pivotal moment: There are several moments that have been important in my career, the most important one perhaps when I shifted the focus of my research from environmental studies to metabolomics. Actually, when I started my studies, I wanted to work both on analytical chemistry and biochemistry, but then the field was mainly limited to targeted analytical studies, which I found a bit narrow. With new developments in the instrumental side, metabolomics has moved to a fully different level and now I can combine my very first interests in research.
Prediction: There have been a lot of technological advances over the past decade, enabling better and more robust studies. Currently, the bottleneck is the efficient utilization of the data, and mining the relevant information from the huge amount of data produced. New developments in data preprocessing and data mining are needed and they are under continuous development. Also, in metabolomics, the development of more robust and rugged instruments in combination with the identification of novel biomarkers will allow personalized metabolic screening to enter into daily clinical practice.