Laboratory technician Tomas Zanchi shares his journey into science and why he thinks lab equipment reviews are essential
Tomas Zanchi, laboratory technician at Ambientali Consulenze, Italy
Lab product reviews can change the world by helping other scientists find the best equipment to accelerate their vital work. Here at SelectScience®, we are dedicated to promoting peer-to-peer communication that will make the difference – but we could not do it without our esteemed reviewers. In this regular feature, we put the spotlight on some of our most dedicated and impactful reviewers and find out what inspires them to keep sharing their knowledge with the global scientific community.
This week’s Reviewer in the Spotlight is Tomas Zanchi, a laboratory technician at Consulenze Ambientali, Scanzorosciate, Italy. Working as a lab technician for over two decades, his current research is on PFAS removal from environmental matrices. In this article, Tomas tells us about his biggest goals as a scientist, and what he’d like science to achieve in his lifetime.
Tell us a bit about your role and your current research
I have been a laboratory technician since 2001 and I mainly deal with GC / MS and HR-LCMS. Lately, I have been working on the research of PFAS in environmental matrices and their removal.
I develop analytical methods for new molecules to be researched and which will then be certified. Whenever possible, I keep myself updated by reading scientific publications and participating in courses and webinars.
Reviews are written directly by those who work in the laboratory and know that the most important characteristics that any device must have are reliability, reproducibility, precision, robustness, etc.
How did you get into your specific field of work?
I studied chemistry in high school and immediately started working in chemical analysis laboratories. Initially, I worked in the intermediate sector and then moved to the environmental sector.
What have been your biggest challenges as a scientist?
As far as my work is concerned, the biggest challenge is to develop increasingly robust and reliable analytical methods to quantify more and more molecules at ever-lower concentrations using the best possible equipment.
What’s your favorite piece of lab equipment?
My favorite instrument and the one that I have been lucky enough to use for a few years is the Q Exactive Focus Hybrid Quadrupole-Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer by Thermo Fisher Scientific. This machine is amazing because it can be used as a workhorse for routine analysis even though it was born as a pure research instrument. Accurate mass spectra offer a level of information that was unimaginable until a few years ago.
Many technicians believe that for daily analysis, a triple quadrupole machine (QqQ) is even better, thinking that Orbitrap is too complex and delicate, but this is not the case at all.
What would you like to achieve in your work?
I would like to continue working in the environmental field and become an expert. There are more and more pollutants, so understanding where they come from, how to analyze them, how to treat them and how to permanently eliminate them is our final goal.
Why do you think lab equipment reviews are important?
Reviews of scientific equipment are very important because they are written directly by those who work in the laboratory and know that the most important characteristics that any device must have are reliability, reproducibility, precision, robustness, etc. In addition, defects can also be found which, on the contrary, are almost never mentioned.
Complete this sentence: In my lifetime, I’d like science to achieve…
In my lifetime, I’d like science to achieve a guarantee that we can retain the welfare we have without leading to the detriment of the environment and our health.
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