Ernst Felder, outstanding scientist who revolutionized diagnostic imaging, has died

Milan, Italy , 04/10/2018

Professor Ernst Felder, a great scientist who played an essential role in the development of pharmaceutical research and in improving the health of millions of people, has died in Riva San Vitale (Ticino), where he lived with his wife. He is responsible for the discovery of two molecules which revolutionized the history of diagnostic imaging: Iodamide and Iopamidol, patented in 1974. 

Born 19 January 1920 in Zurich, Felder grew up in Oberrieden, a small rural village on the left bank of Lake Zurich. At school, he immediately showed an aptitude for the sciences which he then cultivated by studying chemistry at the university where he would become assistant to the world renowned professor, Gerold Schwarzenbach, himself a close collaborator of Professor Paul Karrer, who had won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry just a few years earlier. In 1949, a little over a year after marrying Elide, Cilag, the company where he was working, formed a partnership with Bracco in Milan and Felder moved to Italy where he went on to invent the new generations of contrast media. The development of these drugs were the result of a collaborative effort, with Felder working closely with Fulvio Bracco and a team of experts. 

Fulvio Bracco remembers him as a generous and sensitive man in his book of memoirs titled From Neresine to Milan: “I must return to the date, 1 October 1950, that marks the company hiring – we are still in Via Renato Fucini – of Professor Ernst Felder. Of Felder I will simply say that he initiated the research at Bracco. I have always greatly admired his genius in chemistry, and I hold a profound fondness for him, which has grown throughout the many years of commitment that united us. He was an extraordinary partner and a faithful friend.” 

The newspaper Corriere di Como had dedicated a beautiful article to his rich story as a man of science and to his strong bond with Italy just days before, for which Diana Bracco had sent Felder a heartfelt message of congratulations. “We will be ever grateful,” commented the President of the Group following his passing.

 

Ernst Felder, outstanding scientist who revolutionized diagnostic imaging, has died
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