Heinrich Emanuel Merck Award for Analytical Science

This award honors scientists who are developing innovative analytical methods in chemistry with new applications that aim to improve human life.

About the Award

The Heinrich Emanuel Merck Award for achievements in analytical science has been awarded to internationally outstanding scientists since 1988.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, grants the prize to mark the centennial of the first standardization of analytical methods in a book by Dr. Karl Krauch, a chemist at our company, entitled “The Testing of the Purity of Chemical Reagents”. The award was named for the man who set the original high standard for quality and purity, which shapes our company to this day.

2017 Laureate

Francesco Ricci

In 2017 Prof. Francesco Ricci from the University of Rome, Italy received the Heinrich Emanuel Merck Award for Analytical Science for his groundbreaking development of DNA-based sensors. Prof. Ricci developed new strategies for the development of sensors for various diagnostic applications. The principal functions of the sensors are based on the same mechanisms that nature uses for biomolecular receptors. The analytical sensors are able to detect a wide range of antibodies, proteins and further analytes, which are relevant in medicinal research.

Previous Laureates of the Heinrich Emanuel Merck Award

Year Name University/company Country Distinguished project
2017 Prof. Francesco Ricci University of Rome Italy DNA-Based Beacon for Single-Step Fluorescence Detection of Proteins
2015 Prof. Petra Dittrich ETH Zürich Switzerland Microfluidic analytical platforms
2012 Prof. Aaron R. Wheeler University of Toronto Canada

Droplet-scale estrogen assays in breast tissue

2010 Prof. Luisa Torsi Bari University Italy Organic sensitivity-enhanced field-effect sensors for determination of chiral compounds
2007 Dr. Alexander Makarov Thermo Fisher Scientific, Bremen Germany Performance evaluation of a hybrid linear ion trap/orbitrap mass spectrometer
2007 Prof. Dr. Shuming Nie Emory University, Atlanta USA In vivo cancer targeting and imaging with semiconductor quantum dots
2004 Prof. Yoshinobu Baba University of Tokushima Japan Nanospheres for DNA separation chips
2002 Prof. Jonathan V. Sweedler University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign USA Measuring the peptides in individual organelles with mass spectrometry
2000 Prof. Norman Dovichi

University of Alberta


A multiple-capillary electrophoresis system for small-scale DNA sequencing and analysis
1998 Prof. Renato Zenobi ETH Zurich Switzerland Laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry
1996 Prof. D. Jed Harrison University of Alberta Canada Micromachining a miniaturized capillary electrophore-based chemical analysis system on a chip
1996 Prof. Andreas Manz Imperial College London Great Britain Micromachining a miniaturized capillary electrophore-based chemical analysis system on a chip
1993 Prof. Aviv Amirav Tel Aviv University Israel Pulsed-flame photometer : a novel gas chromatography detector

Dr. Bidlingmeyer

Millipore Corporation USA Liquid chromatography detectors
1990 Prof. Reinhard Nießner Technical University of Munich Germany The photoelectric aerosol sensor array applied to heavy metal aerosols
1988 Prof. Masataka Hiraide Nagoya University Japan Separation of trace elements from high-purity metals
1988 Prof. Otto S. Wolfbeis Graz University Austria Fluorescence sensors

Key Facts

  • Cycle: Biennial
  • Eligibility criteria: Scientists up to the age of 45 who have made valuable contributions to analytical sciences aimed at improving the quality of human life
  • Call for applications: Upcoming call period between October and December 2018
  • Application documents of the candidates: First authorship based on own published research results (no older than 3 years) and a CV

Prof. Dr. Klaus Griesar

Head of Science Relations

Dr. Armin Leng

Associate Director Science Relations, Public Funding


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