Meet the Recipients of the 2022 Advances in Measurement Science Lectureship Awards - ACS Axial | ACS Publications
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Meet the Recipients of the 2022 Advances in Measurement Science Lectureship Awards

ACS Sensors, Analytical Chemistry, Journal of Proteome Research, and the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 Advances in Measurement Science Lectureship Awards. This annual award recognizes individuals from three major geographic regions (the Americas; Europe, The Middle East, and Africa; and Asia-Pacific) who have made a recent and major impact in the field. The awards will be presented at the ACS Measurement Science Symposium in October, where recipients will receive an award plaque and a $1,500 honorarium. Learn about last year’s winners here.

Meet the 2022 Recipients

Below are three brief interviews with the winners regarding their research and their thoughts on the latest in measurement science.

Representing the Americas: Professor Jill Venton, University of Virginia

Tell us about yourself

I am an analytical chemist and neuroscientist. I graduated from the University of Delaware (B.S.) and University of North Carolina (Ph.D.) and then post-doced at Michigan. I am a Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Virginia. I’m a second-generation chemistry professor, as my father taught chemistry at a small college. I always wanted to be like my dad and be a chemist. My first job at 16 was in a chemistry lab doing analytical chemistry work on insect attractants at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center for the USDA in Maryland. Thus, chemistry has always been in my blood and I wanted to be a chemistry professor from an early age.

What does this award mean to you?

This award is special because it validates that the work we are doing in the Venton group is at the forefront of analytical chemistry. I am proud of the work of my graduate students and postdocs and think through this lectureship, I will get to showcase our work about developing new electrochemical sensors for challenging neurochemical analyses.

What are you working on now?

My research is focused on developing sensors for measuring neurotransmitters in the brain. In sensor development, we are making new 3D printed electrochemical sensors to make electrodes with submicron features. We also specialize in applications in the brain, such as measuring rapid adenosine transients in the brain during stroke in rats. My lab is currently implanting electrodes into awake fruit flies and measuring neurotransmitters during behaviors such as feeding.

How would you describe your career so far?

Blessed! I’ve been able to live my dream career, doing both teaching and research, now in a leadership role. I love the excitement of doing science and being able to share that with my students and research group.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Your biggest asset is the people who work for you and the hardest part of being a professor is managing people in the lab! Both are true! I would be nothing without the hardworking students, postdocs, and research scientists who work in my lab but I need to strive to provide each one with the individual mentoring they need to succeed.

What do you wish someone had told you when you were starting out as a chemist?

Don’t be afraid of failure-just have fun. Science is inherently risky, but also very exciting so aim to have fun doing it and don’t play it too safe.

Representing Europe, The Middle East, and Africa: Professor Thomas Rizzo, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Tell us about yourself

I received a B.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After my Ph.D., I worked as a research associate in the James Franck Institute of the University of Chicago for three years before accepting a position at the University of Rochester. In 1994 I accepted a full professorship with the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). I’ve held a number of positions at the EPFL, including Director of the Institute of Physical Chemistry, Head of the Department of Chemistry, and Dean of the School of Basic Sciences.

What does this award mean to you?

This award means a lot to me because I don’t originally come from the analytical chemistry community, having been educated as a physical chemist. It also says a lot about the mass spectrometry community, that they are open to new ideas and people rather than being closed and cliquish.

What are you working on now?

I am currently working on combining vibrational spectroscopy with ion mobility and mass spectrometry in a single user-friendly instrument. Laser spectroscopy of ions in mass spectrometers has been around for a long time, but it has never been implemented in a commercial instrument. I believe that now is finally the time to do so and that it will make a significant impact in bioanalytical science.

How would you describe your career so far?

I have always been motivated by scientific curiosity and had the luxury to simply pursue it and get paid for it. Although I have other interests outside of science, I consider my job also a hobby because I truly enjoy it. I should also say that I find teaching students to be one of the most rewarding parts of my job.

Looking back on my career, if I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t change a thing – particularly my decision to move to Switzerland.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

It is not enough to simply do good science – you have to learn also to communicate it. Learning to speak and write well are important parts of a scientific career.

What do you wish someone had told you when you were starting out as a chemist?

Take more math at university.

Representing Asia-Pacific: Professor Huangxian Ju, Nanjing University

Tell us about yourself

I am a professor of analytical chemistry at Nanjing University and the director of State Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Life Science (since its foundation in 2011). I received B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Nanjing University in 1986, 1989 and 1992, and became a lecturer, associate professor and professor at Nanjing University in 1992, 1993 and 1999, respectively. I worked at Montreal University (Canada) as a postdoctoral researcher from 1996-1997, won the National Funds for Distinguished Young Scholars in 2003, and was selected as a Changjiang Professor by Education Ministry of China and a National Key Talent in the New Century by China government in 2007, a chief scientist of 973 Program by Ministry of Science and Technology of China in 2009, and Fellows of the International Society of Electrochemistry and the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2015. My research interests focus on analytical biochemistry, nanobiosensing and bioimaging.

What does this award mean to you?

This award means an opportunity to show my research achievements and that my contributions have been recognized by colleagues in measurement science.

What are you working on now?

I am aiming to develop accurate or quantitative detection methods for important life molecules via novel signal amplification and labelling strategies, including in vitro, in vivo, in situ and POCT, and theranostic systems of cancer via molecular recognition and imaging analysis.

How would you describe your career so far?

I have worked in the field of Measurement Science for 36 years. I was the first one to develop the chemically modified microelectrode for the determination of protein in 1994. I introduced nanotechnology to the biosensing field in 1997, which led to a new concept of signal amplification and the development of nanobiosensing, and thus was recognized as one of the pioneers in nanobiosensing. In 2004, I proposed the first electrochemiluminescence (ECL) biosensor based on the intrinsic ECL emission of quantum dots, which brought a new field in ECL biosensing application of quantum dots and set off a research hotspot of ECL biosensing with inorganic nanoparticles. These works promoted the development of electrochemical and chemiluminescent immunosensing and DNA detection methodology. In recent years, I presented a concept of mass spectrometric (MS) biosensing (2020) based on the first quantitative MALDI-TOF-MS detection method (2014) and a MALDI-TOF/MS imaging technique for quantitation of caspase activities (2016), and developed several local reconstruction strategies for fixed-point labeling of protein-specific glycosyl groups, a variety of methods for in-situ detection of glycans and subtype screening of gangliosides on the cell surface, and a hierarchical coding strategy for glycoform imaging. I designed a DNA dual lock-and-key strategy for cell-subtype-specific siRNA delivery and two upconversion nanoprobes for NIR modulated siRNA delivery and imaging analysis. To enhance therapeutic efficiency, I proposed a DNA-azobenzene nanopump for controllable intracellular drug release, a NIR-switched microRNA amplifier for precise therapy of early-stage cancers, and a DNA nanomachine via computation across cancer cell membrane for precise therapy of solid tumor.

So far I have published 785 papers, 6 English books, 6 Chinese books, and 20 chapters with >37500 citations in SCIE journals.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

The best piece of advice I ever received is that scientific research should be in a persistent way, never to abandon, and never give up.

What do you wish someone had told you when you were starting out as a chemist?

This profession as a chemist experiences all kinds of hardships, but it is full of fun and a sense of achievement.

Congratulations to the Winners!

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