Szabolcs Fekete Wins 2022 HTC Innovation Award

Column, June 2022, Volume 18, Issue 06

LCGC is proud to announce that Szabolcs Fekete is the winner of the 2022 HTC Innovation Award. Fekete was honoured at the Hyphenated Techniques and Separations Technology (HTC-17) conference in Ghent, Belgium on Friday 20 May 2022 for his outstanding contributions to the field of separation science.

Symposium Chair of HTC-17, Deirdre Cabooter, said,“Szabolcs Fekete has developed a complete package of novel approaches to push intact protein and protein subunit chromatography to the next level–including the so-called ‘ultra-short column’, ‘multi-isocratic’, ‘negative gradient segment’, and ‘on-column fractioning’ approaches. With these methods, separation scientists can improve selectivity between closely eluting species for more accurate peak integration/identification or routinely separate critical sample components in less than 30 seconds.

“Szabolcs’ research has challenged the status quo of analytical labs in the biopharmaceutical industry, that for a long time have standardized many of their product characterization and quality control techniques on 50 to 150 mm long columns. Szabolcs has challenged conventional thinking by asking fundamental questions, pushing modern column fabrication techniques, and offering new method ideas that have broken the paradigm of these standardized techniques. He has achieved separations of protein species that had long been elusive, and has collected drug product information in 10x less time versus traditional approaches.”

Szabolcs worked in the pharmaceutical industry in analytical R&D for 10 years, and then moved to the University of Geneva in Switzerland, to work in the group of Jean-Luc Veuthey and Davy Guillarme as postdoc and as scientific collaborator for a decade. In April 2021, he joined Waters Corporation and now works as a consulting scientist. He has contributed to 160+ peer-reviewed journal articles and has co-authored 10+ book chapters and edited two handbooks. His main interests include pharmaceuticals, therapeutic proteins and other biomolecules separations, fundamentals of chromatography, column technology, method development, experimental designs, and modelling. He is well known for his various collaborations with both academic and industrial partners.

“It is a huge honour for me to receive the HTC Innovation Award. I feel myself very lucky because I had many possibilities and opportunities to work or collaborate with several outstanding scientists worldwide. I was involved in many industrial and academic collaborations that were very motivating and inspiring. What we have achieved is due to our teamwork. I would like to especially thank Davy Guillarme, Jean-Luc Veuthey, and Matthew Lauber for their continuous support and encouragement,” said Fekete.

The HTC Innovation Award was launched by LCGC Europe and the HTC Scientific Committeeto celebrate a separation scientist who has made pioneering contribution to the field of separation sciences by introducing new methodologies, new instrumentation, or new techniques in the field, with a strong focus on applications that benefit society.

Alasdair Matheson, Editor-in-Chief of LCGC Europe, added, “We are very pleased that the HTC Organizing Committee has awarded the prize to Szabolcs, who clearly demonstrates scientific creativity with innovative and practical solutions for biopharmaceutical analysts.”