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Techniques & Tools Mass Spectrometry, Clinical, Microscopy

The Inside Story

Breaking boundaries is a key theme of my work, and pivotal to all fields of science. The motivating force of most scientists is to break through boundaries of knowledge – seeing something that no-one has seen before is an awe-inspiring experience. Whether they are building better microscopes to visualize molecules in a cell, or better telescopes to detect far-away stars, scientists have the same drive – they want to see what they cannot yet see.

On a more down-to-earth level, breaking boundaries between disciplines is a crucial facet of our work. We need to make sure that our knowledge crosses the boundaries of our own disciplines, to answer the big questions society faces. Whether it is in life science, food, water or energy, input is needed across the boundary of physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics. All of these different disciplines meet in analytical science, which is why our field lies at the base of so many great discoveries.

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About the Author

Ron M. A. Heeren

Ron M. A. Heeren

Ron Heeren obtained a PhD degree in technical physics in 1992 at the University of Amsterdam on plasma-surface interactions. In 1999, he started a research group focusing on macromolecular ion physics with high resolution mass spectrometry and the development of imaging mass spectrometry at AMOLF.  From 1995, he has been developing new approaches towards high spatial resolution and high throughput molecular imaging mass spectrometry. Ron’s academic research interests are the fundamental studies of the energetics of macromolecular systems, conformational studies of non-covalently bound protein complexes, high-throughput bioinformatics and the development and validation of new mass spectrometry based proteomic imaging techniques for the life sciences. “In 2012, I co-founded Omics2Image, a company focused on bringing innovative ion detector technology to the analytical market.” Now, Ron is a co-director of the Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging (M4I) center at Maastricht University.

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