Pirok featured in the Analytical Scientist Power List 2021

Dr. Bob Pirok, Prof. Govert Somsen and Prof. Peter Schoenmakers of the Centre for Analytical Sciences Amsterdam are featured in the 2021 edition of the 'Power List' compiled by the magazine The Analytical Scientist. 

The Power List is established by a poll among the readers of The Analytical Scientist and represents the 100 world’s most influential analytical scientists as an inspiration to their fellows. Every year, readers and visitors of its website are allowed to nominate scientists, engineers, software developers or business leaders from the analytical sciences field.

In his feature interview, Assistant Professor Bob Pirok describes the risk of the analytical sciences being drawn into a “pit fight where the focus is not on the quality of our methods but the quantity of meaningless numbers.” He makes the case for the effective and robust use of well-known powerful separation systems such as 2D LC-MS, rather than “solving the analytical problem by complicating it further” with the development of ever more multidimensional separation techniques. The primary solution is in teaching.

Professor Govert Somsen, who – like Peter Schoenmakers, earlier recalled the major steps that analytical sciences had made: “I started doing intact protein analysis in an era of booming bottom-up proteomics, but our first protein peaks were questionable and people thought we were crazy. Now, after persistent development, we can assign hundreds of proteoforms of a single protein in just one run!”.

Professor Peter Schoenmakers predicts the development of more and more ‘self-steering’ instruments, in analogue to the progression of self-steering cars. “The need may even be greater, because there is a greater shortage of qualified analysts than qualified drivers.” According to Schoenmakers, the biggest challenge to the analytical sciences is to identify upcoming crises in health, food, and the environment before they arrive. “This requires high-resolution non-target analysis and very smart data analysis.”

From left to right: Govert Somsen, Bob Pirok and Peter Schoenmakers at Science Park Amsterdam.

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