Carl-Bertil Laurell, PhD

In July 2023, we changed our name from AACC (short for the American Association for Clinical Chemistry) to the Association for Diagnostics & Laboratory Medicine (ADLM). The following page was written prior to this rebranding and contains mentions of the association’s old name. It may contain other out-of-date information as well.

2001 Edwin F. Ullman Award

Carl-Bertil Laurell, MD, PhD will receive the fourth annual Edwin F. Ullman Award at the the AACC upcoming Oak Ridge Conference in Seattle on May 4. The award, sponsored by Dade Behring, was established to recognize outstanding contributions that advance the technology of clinical laboratory science. In conjunction with receiving the award, Dr. Laurell will make a presentation; entitled “Bench Side Medicine”. Dr. Laurell was appointed head of the clinical laboratory at Malmo General Hospital in 1954. He remained there until 1984, when he retired, holding the titles of Chairman of the Department of Clinical Chemistry and Professor at Lund University in Malmo, Sweden. A giant in the field of electrophoresis, Dr. Laurell’s contributions to improving this technique led to major breakthroughs in protein analysis.
For example, Dr. Laurell demonstrated the clinical utility of several proteins of note, including transferring, ceruloplasmin, haptoglobin, and a1-antitrypsin. His flair for research is illustrated by an incident in which a technician mistakenly used tap water instead of distilled water in an electrophoresis buffer. The anomalies in the results led Dr. Laurell’s team to the realization that the addition of calcium ions to the electrophoresis buffer could cause the splitting of the b-fraction in ways that supplied better clinical information, a discovery that influences the performance of electrophoresis to this day.
Dr. Laurell developed the method known as rocket immunoelectrophoresis, which became a mainstay for quantifying certain proteins. Another method that he developed for separating and identifying proteins, called crossed immunoelectrophoresis, led to major progress in elucidating the role of proteolytic enzymes and the regulation of their activity. This method led to the discovery and improved diagnosis of diseases caused by disruptions in those regulatory systems. Perhaps the most important was his discovery of a1-antitrypsin deficiency, the most common hereditary disease in his native Sweden. Dr. Laurell has published 200 scientific papers in international journals (including four Current Contents ” Citation Classics”) in a career that has stretched over decades. He received the the AACC Lectureship Award in 1965.

The Edwin F. Ullman Award, which includes a plaque and a $5000 honorarium, is sponsored by Dade Behring. It was created to honor Dr. Ullman and recognizes his contributions to the former Behring Diagnostics and to the field of clinical chemistry.

A pioneer in immunoassay technology who received more than 150 US patents, Dr. Ullman’s best known accomplishment was the development of the Emit assay, an advance that revolutionized testing for both abused and therapeutic drugs.

1965 AACC Lectureship Award

Carl-Bertil Laurell, MD, PhD was the recipient of the firstannual lectureship award in 1965.