American Association for Clinical Chemistry
Better health through laboratory medicine
Ralph E. Thiers, PhD
1973 AACC Past President’s Award
1972 Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Chemistry

Dr. Ralph E. Thiers will receive the 1972 AACC Award for outstanding contributions to clinical chemistry, sponsored by the Ames Company, at the 24th National Meeting of the AACC. The award was first given in 1952, as the Ernst Bischoff Award.

Dr. Thiers started his career in Toronto, Canada, and is presently Technical Advisor, Office of the Director, Bio-Science Laboratories, Van Nuys, California. (The positions he has held are outlined in Clinical Chemistry, 18, 81, January 1972). His contributions to clinical chemistry include notable publications in instrumentation, continuous-flow methods and computer application. Early interest in enzymology, combined with his activities in instrumentation, led him to collaborate with Drs. M. Margoshes and B. L. Vallee in designing the coenzometer for kinetic enzyme assays, permitting more widespread use of the assays. His work on the theoretical and practical aspects of continuous-flow analysis led to an understanding of interaction between samples and lag phase, which not only provided a theoretical basis for this class of analytical techniques, but permitted comparative evaluation of equipment or procedures and improved performance.

He was one of the first to demonstrate simultaneous multiple analysis on single specimens and to explore its use in the practice of medicine in a hospital. His controlled experiment on the value of the “Admission Profile” was one of the earliest definitive studies on the subject. More recent studies by Dr. Thiers have concerned themselves with the application of on-line computers to analytical instruments and procedures to decrease the burden of calculation and improved quality of performance.

He has served the American Association of Clinical Chemists in active roles since 1963, as Local Chairman, Member of the Board of Editors of Clinical Chemistry, Membership Committeeman, National Secretary, and Associate Treasurer, and he is now the President-Elect. In addition, Dr. Thiers has served on Advisory Boards for Analytical Chemistry, the Analytical Division of the National Bureau of Standards, the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards, and on NIH committees.