August 8, 2012 — Chemist Aaron Wheeler wins Heinrich Emanuel Merck Award for Analytical Science
Chemistry professor Aaron Wheeler has been awarded the 2012 Heinrich Emanuel Merck Award for Analytical Science 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 new technology – often called "lab on a chip" – tests tiny samples of blood and breast tissue much more efficiently than conventional methods and could be used by physicians to monitor the effectiveness of anti-breast cancer treatments in ways that are not possible now.
The award, which recognizes scientists under the age of 45 whose work focuses on new methods in chemical analysis and the development of applications aimed at improving the quality of human life, will be presented to Wheeler at Merck Millipore's Technology Exposition in Bedford, Massachusetts on October 17.
"It is wonderful that Merck recognizes the importance of analytical science and method development," says Wheeler. "I am thrilled to be selected for the honour."
"By selecting Aaron Wheeler, we are recognizing a talented and very successful scientist," says Dr. Thomas Geelhaar, Chief Technology Officer Chemicals at Merck. "Thanks to his ground-breaking scientific approach, professor Wheeler has helped to achieve tremendous advances in the research field of hormone analysis."
Wheeler is currently working with MaRS Innovation and the Inventions and Partnerships Office to explore options to commercialize this technique.