In recognition of his scientific contributions and the manner in which he places them in a social context, Albert Heck has been appointed Distinguished Professor of the Faculty of Science as of 1 November. Heck has served as Professor of Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics at the departments of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences since 1998. His leadership in the field was confirmed last year with the award of the Spinoza Prize, the Netherlands’ highest scientific honour.
The Faculty Board also praised the important contributions that Heck has made to the cooperation within Science for Life and in enhancing the programme’s reputation. With his interdisciplinary approach to Life Sciences research, he plays an active role in the integration of the various disciplines. Also he has always paid attention to the importance of communicating his fundamental research to the public at large.
Pioneer in mass spectrometry and proteomics
Heck is a pioneer in the field of mass spectrometry and proteomics: the study of all or part of the proteins in an organism, and how they interact, using mass spectrometry technology. His expertise in the technical development of mass spectrometry and large-scale protein research has made him a much sought-after partner in international research. Techniques he has developed are used in biomedical laboratories around the world.
Science publication in Nobel presentation
One recent example of his contributions to ground-breaking research is a recent publication in Science about one of the oldest biological clocks in the world. In early October, the Nobel Prize committee used an illustration from this publication as an example of the importance of the Nobel Prizes awarded in the fields of Chemistry and Medicine.