<0> Heinrich Emanuel Merck Award 2012 Granted to Professor Aaron Wheeler </0>
<0> Merck KGaADr. Gangolf Schrimpf, +49 6151 72-9591 </0>
, the Life Science division of of Darmstadt, Germany, today announced that the 2012 Heinrich Emanuel Merck Award for Analytical Science will be given to Professor Wheeler from the University of Toronto for his development of a digital microfluidic method for the extraction and quantification of estrogen in 1-microliter samples of breast tissue homogenate, whole blood and serum. This method may be broadly applicable for diagnostics requiring frequent analysis of hormones in clinical samples, which are important markers for example in infertility or cancer. The award, endowed with € 15,000, will be presented to Professor Wheeler at EMD Millipore’s Technology Exposition in Bedford, Massachusetts, USA, on October 17, 2012.
“Professor Wheeler`s development of new analytical methods using digital microfluidic technology to overcome the limitations of conventional techniques in the extraction and quantification of estrogen is an outstanding scientific achievement with significant societal impact, for example in breast cancer diagnosis,” explained Professor Reinhard Niessner (Technical University of Munich, Germany), the head of the international jury for the Heinrich Emanuel Merck Award.
“By selecting Aaron Wheeler, we are recognizing a talented and very successful scientist. We are looking forward to his award lecture in October,” said Dr. Thomas Geelhaar, Chief Technology Officer Chemicals at Merck KGaA. “Thanks to his groundbreaking scientific approach, Professor Wheeler has helped to achieve tremendous advances in the research field of hormone analysis.”
Aaron R. Wheeler (37) is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, Department of Chemistry. The Wheeler research group is developing hybrid methods that rely on the unique advantages of microchannels and digital microfluidics for applications in the areas of chemistry, biology, and medicine. This approach moves sample and reagent droplets across open surfaces by applying electrical potentials to an array of electrodes, which makes it particularly well suited to multistep sample processing for high-throughput bioanalytical applications. His concept promises reduced reagent consumption and analysis time, the capacity to integrate multiple functions onto a single device, and the potential for high throughput analysis.
For more than 20 years, the Heinrich Emanuel Merck Award has been recognizing scientists under the age of 45 whose work focuses on new methods in chemical analysis and the development thereof in applications aimed at improving the quality of human life, for example in fields such as life science, environmental protection and the biosciences.
Merck KGaA began granting the Heinrich-Emanuel-Merck Award in 1988 to mark the centennial of the first standardization of analytical methods by Dr. Karl Krauch, a Merck KGaA chemist. This list of the prizewinners documents the significance of the prize in the analytical sciences community, which has often laid the groundwork for important discoveries.
Former Award winners of the Heinrich Emanuel Merck Award are:
1988 Professor M. Hiraide, Japan; Professor O.S. Wolfbeis, Austria
1990 Dr. B. Bidlingmeyer, USA; Professor R. Niessner, Germany
1993 Professor A. Amirav, Israel
1996 Professor D.J. Harrison, Canada; Professor A. Manz, United Kingdom
1998 Professor R. Zenobi, Switzerland
2000 Professor N. Dovichi, Canada
2002 Professor J.V. Sweedler, USA
2004 Professor Y. Baba, Japan
2007 Dr. A. Makarov, Germany; Professor S. Nie, USA
2010 Professor Luisa Torsi, Italy
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Headquartered in Billerica, Massachusetts, the division has around 10,000 employees, operations in 67 countries and 2011 revenues of EUR 2.4 billion. EMD Millipore is known as Merck Millipore outside of the U.S. and Canada.
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Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with total revenues of € 10.3 billion in 2011, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by more than 40,000 employees in 67 countries. Its success is characterized by innovations from entrepreneurial employees. Merck's operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds an approximately 70% interest and shareholders own the remaining approximately 30%. In 1917 the U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.