Penn clinical chemist wins prestigious Ullman Award

Dr. Larry Kricka, Director of General Chemistry at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, has been named the winner of the 2006 Edwin F. Ullman Award. The award recognizes an individual (or individuals) for contributions that advance the technology of clinical laboratory sciences through the creation of new technologies and analytical methods. In July, Dr. Kricka will be presented with the Ullman Award at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry's (AACC) annual meeting in Chicago.

Although the award is given for a scientist's body of work, two of Kricka's efforts, in particular, have had a profound beneficla effect on the field of laboratory medicine. The first is his application of chemiluminescence and bioluminescence to clinical analysis. He was instrumental in the development of two of the three major chemiluminescent technologies currently used in routine testing, including an enhanced luminescence system for peroxidase labels and the 1,2-dioxetane substrate, now widely used to detect alkaline phosphatase labels and other hydrolytic enzymes. He has also played an important role in adapting chemiluminescent and bioluminescent assays to point-of-care testing.

His second defining work, in collaboration with Dr. Peter Wilding, PhD, is with miniaturization specifically, analytical microchips. Dr. Kricka played a critical role in the development of micro-fabricated clinical analysis devices and devices that isolate cells, analyze DNA, test for fertility, assist in vitro fertilization, immunoassay testing for drugs and hormones, and integrate tests for malignancy. These miniaturization techniques have pioneered a field of testing based in silicon-glass and plastic micro-structures and resulted in the first demonstration of numerous analytically useful processes in microchips, including immunoassay, assessment of sperm motility, and DNA amplification. Today many laboratories and companies have research and development programs based on

Contact: Rick Cushman
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

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