Sarstedt Research Prize 1988

The second Sarstedt Research Prize for DM 50,000 was awarded at the annual convention of the Austrian, Swiss and German Society for Clinical Chemistry on 2 December 1988.

The President of the German Society for Clinical Chemistry, Prof. Dr. H. Wisser, presented the prize at the Institute for Medical Chemistry at the University of Vienna to Prof. Dr. T. Staehelin of Ciba Geigy Switzerland, Dr. H. Towbin of Ciba Geigy Switzerland, and Dr. J. Gordon of Abbott Diagnostics, USA.

The prize winners were recognised for the development of the Western blot.

This development provides a highly sensitive procedure for specific detection of the body's own proteins. In paticular, this includes the body’s own antibodies, and human, animal and plant genetic material. Due to their complex chemical structures, these proteins could only be assessed with large-scale laboratory work so far.

The Western blot method is characterised by its simplicity and safety. It is already of great practical significance in the field of genetics and the early diagnosis of viral diseases, including AIDS.

Due to its high level of reliability, the Western blot is used here as a confirmation test for other chemical methods.