University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

O'Farrell's Gels Blazed New Pathways

By Jeffrey Norris, UCSF Publications/UCSF Today | May 22, 2006

More than 30 years ago, when still a graduate student at University of Colorado, UCSF biochemist Patrick O'Farrell, PhD, invented a way to separate proteins from one another in biological samples, a technique called high-resolution two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. The technique underlies much of modern biomedical discovery.

Every so often, a biomedical scientist invents clever research techniques that spread like wildfire among fellow explorers of cells and molecules. The technique leads to fantastic discoveries never before possible. But the inventor's feat usually remains unsung outside the realms of science.

As for O'Farrell -- and for countless others who have used the experimental protocols he developed -- his invention opened a new window on the biochemical pathways that underlie health and disease.

Read more at Jeffrey Norris, UCSF Publications/UCSF Today