1996 Outstanding Contributions in Education
Oren Zinder was born in Jerusalem in 1940. He received his B.Sc. (1964) in chemistry and biochemistry at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The M.Sc. (1966, summa cum laude) in medical sciences and his Ph.D. (1970 with distinction) were carried out in the Department of Clinical Biochemistry at the Hebrew University Medical School under B. Shapiro. Zinder was at the National Institutes of Health in the US from 1971 to 1974, first as a visiting post-doctoral fellow with Robert Scow at the Laboratory of Endocrinology in the National Institute for Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases, and then as an NIH visiting associate with Harvey Pollard at the Endocrinology Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Zinder was appointed Director of the Department of Clinical Biochemistry at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel, in 1975, a position he still holds, and in 1978 was appointed senior lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine of the Technicon (Israel Institute of Technology) in Haifa. In 1980 he was awarded tenure, and in 1985 Zinder was appointed professor of clinical biochemistry and laboratory medicine.
In 1982, the Israel Minister of Health appointed Zinder chairman of the ministerial Advisory Committee on Clinical Laboratories and his advisor on clinical laboratories. Zinder has since been very active in restructuring the organization and operation of clinical laboratories in Israel. He is also a founding member of the Israel Society for Clinical Biochemistry, and from 1987 to 1992 he served two terms as its president. He is also one of the early (since 1976) foreign AACC members and has participated in many of AACC’s activities including, recently, as a member of the advisory committee for the foreign AACC membership.
Zinder’s teaching activities include courses for medical students in clinical biochemistry and in pathophysiology, advanced courses for M.Sc. and Ph.D. students, and continuing education courses for physicians. He has been, and continues to be, thesis advisor for students studying for their M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees, has instructed medical school graduates on their research theses for their M.D. degrees, is the advisor for residents in laboratory medicine, and has been the advisor of medical staff carrying out a one-year program of basic research. He is at present establishing the first academic program in laboratory medicine in Israel.
Zinder has been very active in professional international activities. He was a titular member of the IUPAC Commission on Education in Clinical Chemistry and the IFCC Education Committee from 1979 to 1989, and its chairman from 1986 to 1989. In 1990 Zinder was elected to the IFCC Executive Board as a member-at-large and was the IFCC-EB liaison to the Education Division. He was a member of the committee involved in the critical assessment of the IFCC Scientific Division and coordinated the EB project for IFCC Public Relations. In 1993 he was elected to the position of Secretary-General of the IFCC.
Zinder served as an advisor in the WHO Laboratory Section and has written a monograph for WHO on cost-effectiveness studies for clinical laboratories in developing countries. In 1988 he was invited to China to serve as an advisor on the organization and management of clinical laboratories and to advise on professional academic education programs. He has been on the faculty of a South-East Asia seminar on the selection and maintenance of laboratory equipment, has conducted three educational seminars in the Latin-American Federation of Clinical Chemistry, and has been very active in IFCC-sponsored educational symposia at many international venues. Zinder is a long-standing member of the international scientific advisory group for Computing in Clinical Laboratories and the Clinical Chemistry Data Communications Group involved in organization and management of clinical laboratories. Zinder was one of the founders of the Advances in Technology and Biotechnology (ATB) Congresses in Europe and has been an active member of its Scientific Board since 1983.
Zinder’s major interest in basic research is the molecular control of catecholamine release and the biochemistry of stress. In applied clinical chemistry he is involved in tumor markers, biogenic amines, and particularly in the organization and management of clinical laboratories. He has authored and edited two books (The Organization and Management of Clinical Laboratories and The Molecular Biology of Stress) and has authored and coauthored over 80 scientific publications in international journals.