1987 Outstanding Contributions through Service to the Profession of Clinical Chemistry
Henry Wishinsky will receive the 22nd AACC Award for Outstanding Contributions through Service to Clinical Chemistry as a Profession. This award is sponsored by Fisher Scientific, an Allied Company.
Dr. Wishinsky’s scientific career covers several disciplines of chemistry—inorganic, analytical, physical, organic, and clinical biochemistry. He received his B.A. in chemistry and an M.S. in physical chemistry from New York University, and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Georgetown University. Dr. Wishinsky considers himself fortunate that he was able to work full time in science during his graduate studies.
His first position was with Allied Chemical in Claymont, Delaware, as an analytical chemist. Next he went to Wallace and Tiernan in New Jersey as an analytical and physical chemist, then as a research organic pharmaceutical chemist. His work was in mechanisms of organic reactions (some highly explosive), the synthesis of steroid-like structures from small molecules, and the synthesis of new pharmaceuticals, some of which are still marketed. His next position was director of research and production at Universal Synthetics in New York City. Here he studied the synthesis of androgens and estrogens from cholesterol and sitosterol until an industrial accident caused him to change fields.
He joined the staff of Georgetown University Medical School and Hospital, and soon directed the Endocrinology Research Laboratory in the Department of Medicine. This laboratory was also responsible for operation of the artificial kidney—at that time one of few such units available on the East Coast. Dr. Wishinsky, as the chemist with the kidney team, performed the first studies on removal of excess drugs such as aspirin and barbiturates from patients.
His next move was to Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, associated with the Johns Hopkins Medical School, as chief clinical chemist. He reorganized the laboratory, adding many new procedures that were not routine at that time, designed laboratories for the new Sinai Hospital, participated in medical and surgical rounds, trained residents, medical students and technologists, and taught in the Sinai School of nursing. During his tenure at Sinai Hospital he supervised the clinical chemistry proficiency program for the Maryland Society of Pathologists, was a clinical chemist consultant for five local hospitals, developed the first Poison Control Center in Maryland, and established the first laboratory in the Baltimore area using gas chromatography for routine analysis of steroids.
In 1964, Dr. Wishinsky accepted the position of director of research at the Ames Division of Miles Laboratories in Elkhart, Indiana. Several years later he was promoted to vice president, research & development. During this time his department developed many new products, published over 150 scientific papers, obtained more than 100 patents, and developed many innovative procedures for use in laboratories. While director of research and V.P. of R&D at Ames, he was also director of the research laboratory for the Elkhart General Hospital. In 1978 Dr. Wishinsky was promoted to vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, for Miles Professional Products Group.
Now retired, he has continued many of his previous activities—on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards, the Executive Board of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry, the FDA Classification Panel for Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology, the Executive Board of the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry, consultant for Miles Laboratories, the Science and Technology Steering Committee of the Health Industry Manufacturers Association—and actively participates on many committees associated with these organizations.
Dr. Wishinsky was recently presented the Miriam Reiner Award by the AACC’s Capital Section.