Roger Ekins was a biophysicist who pioneered approaches to analyse minute quantities of biological matter now used worldwide in medical diagnostics. In particular, Roger applied his techniques to the field of endocrinology, proposing the existence of previously unknown effects exerted by maternal hormones, e.g. thyroid and possibly steroid hormones, on early foetal brain development.
He was internationally recognised as the originator of both radioimmunoassay and related ligand binding assays. These form the basis of routinely used diagnostic tests, such as for thyroid function or viral infection. In addition, in the 1980s Roger pioneered a technology that permits simultaneous measurement of the concentrations of thousands of substances, such as hormones, viruses and genes, from a drop or two of blood, leading to his receipt of a Prince of Wales Award for Innovation.
Roger was Emeritus Professor of Biophysics at University College London, where he previously served as Head of Molecular Endocrinology. In 2006, he received the Department of Health’s Lifetime Achievement Award — the first such award to a scientist made by the UK government department.
Professor Roger Ekins FRS died on 27 July 2016.
Emeritus Professor of Molecular Endocrinology, University College London (UCL), Division of Biosciences
Ultra sensitive assays,