The myriad processes that take place in our body’s cells are the basis of life as we know it. Since cells are filled with fluid, British chemist Carol Robinson created a lot of attention by setting out to investigate life’s processes in a vacuum. Despite massive resistance, she persevered. Now she is receiving the Novozymes Prize for founding a new subfield of mass spectrometry to investigate the shape of proteins and how they interact. Today, this technique is used to identify brand-new targets for drugs.