1997 Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Chemistry
Gérard Siest, PhD, will receive the 46th annual award, sponsored by Bayer Diagnostics. He offers the following biographical sketch:
After finishing my Pharmacy studies in Strasbourg and Nancy, I specialized in Laboratory Medicine. After a hospital residency (2 years) I passed the certificates of Clinical Biochemistry, of Microbiology, of Hematology, and of Bacteriology. I received a PhD in Biochemistry in 1966. Having obtained these skills in clinical biology, I applied them progressively to creation of the Centre for Screening of Metabolic Diseases at the Hospital of Nancy and then to creation of the Laboratory of the Centre for Preventive Medicine.
During this time, I developed my university career, successively being Assistant then Associate Professor, finally Professor of Clinical Biochemistry, and then of Molecular Biology and of Molecular Pharmacology. I accepted in succession several responsibilities: Dean of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Faculty, and Vice-President of the University. On a regional scale, I look after many research structures and serve on a national scale as a member of CNRS and INSERM commissions. I am presently the President of the Research Committee on Cholesterol and Lipids (ARCOL). Twelve Professors or Research Directors have been selected from our team.
Since 1970, I have organized nine Colloquiums of Prospective Biology at Pont-à-Mousson every 3 or 4 years, in addition to numerous other scientific meetings. I was also a member of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry (IFCC) Expert Panel on Reference Values and Chairman of the Expert Panel on Drug Effects.
Finally, in my recent activities, I assumed the Presidency of the IFCC for 6 years, developing a strategic plan and promoting the evolution of this organization, which increased from 50 members to 73 under my presidency. We also developed a public relations action and many contacts with other international sister organizations and signed new agreements with two regions (South America and Europe).
I am currently the head of the Centre du Médicament and I run the Laboratory and the Research of the Centre for Preventive Medicine. My research activities are oriented, on the one hand, towards the study of reference values and the knowledge of biological variations in laboratory examinations, including those due to drugs. This is furthered by the Centre for Preventive Medicine, which examines each year 70 000 subjects supposed to be in good health. On the other hand, I am in charge of a research team in the cardiovascular risks domain linked to lipoprotein metabolism. We particularly wish to understand better the functions, the clinical interest, and the pharmacological target of the apolipoproteins. Apolipoprotein E is of special interest, being at relatively high concentrations in tissue damaged through oxidation.
More than 500 original publications and more than 20 books carry my name. I am a member of many scientific societies and of the editorial boards of clinical chemistry and pharmacology journals. I am now Editor, European Journal of Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Biochemistry.