U.Va. Researcher Robin Felder Receives Major Award in Clinical Chemistry

July 26, 2010 — Robin A. Felder, professor of pathology and associate director of clinical chemistry at the University of Virginia, on Monday received an award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Chemistry for his research in automation and hypertension.

The award was given at the annual meeting of the American Association of Clinical Chemistry, being held in Anaheim, Calif. Approximately 15,000 people attend the event. Felder also received the Research Award from both the American Association for Clinical Chemistry and the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry this year, the first time these awards have been given to a single individual.

The AACS award cites Felder's contributions in automation and hypertension. "One of the pioneers of clinical laboratory robotics and automation, he has published more than 150 papers, reviews and chapters in this area, as well as co-editing three books on medical automation," the association says. In addition Felder was the founding director of the Medical Automation Research Center.

In the field of hypertension, according to the association, Felder and his researchers discovered a key genetic pathway responsible for hypertension and salt sensitivity, successfully reproduced it in mice, and developed a novel targeted biotech drug for treating these conditions.
Felder is also a prolific faculty entrepreneur at U.Va. He has spun eight ventures out of U.Va., including WellAWARE Systems, which develops next-generation, technology-based wellness monitoring solutions for senior care, and Global Cell Solutions, which markets a novel cell culture technology to the stem cell market. The technology was named a Top Ten Innovation for 2009 by The Scientist Magazine.

"Dr. Felder has made significant advances in his field and to patient care through several successful inventions and ventures," said Miette H. Michie, executive director and CEO of the U.Va. Patent Foundation. "Through his keen ability to innovate and strong entrepreneurial drive, he has been able to bring many life-changing discoveries to the public, and the Patent Foundation has been glad to partner with him in these efforts."

Felder said, "I feel fortunate to have had the stimulating environment of the University of Virginia and the generous funding from the National Institutes of Health in order to focus my efforts on creating better technologies for science and medicine as well as deciphering the root cause of essential hypertension."