In 1976, I got a job at the Institute of Organic Chemistry of the University of Bern, Switzerland, „mainly work in high pressure column chromatography“ as the method was called in the advertisement. The technique was new by then, and we packed a lot of columns. The first ones were made from thick-walled glass tubes! Later, preparative HPLC became an important part of my work, therefore, 1“ steel tubes (o.d. = 25.4 mm, i.d. = 21.5 mm) needed to be packed with 5 µm silica at a pressure of 600 bar. The lower pump on the photo, an Altex 100 with a maximum flow rate of 28 mL/min, was used for the preparative separation of mixtures from organic synthesis. The usual separation mode was normal phase.
In 1983 I was allowed to visit the HPLC symposium in Baden-Baden, Germany, and the next one took place in New York, USA. Therefore, it was HPLC which gave rise to my first jump over the Atlantic Ocean, and many more followed.
The 1984 chairman was the unforgettable Csaba Horváth, and he created the slogan I ♥ HPLC which can be seen on the photo. Stickers with this statement were distributed at the 1984 symposium, and I brought a handful of them to the laboratory in Bern. The slogan represented my personal feelings and pride. HPLC became an important part of my life and, thanks to the international symposia, opened a door which allowed me to discover the world.
Photo: In the HPLC laboratory, Bern 1987
© V. R. Meyer
Veronika R. Meyer studied chemistry at the university of applied sciences in Burgdorf, Switzerland, after she completed an apprenticeship as laboratory assistant. From 1976 to 1998 she worked with HPLC at Berne University, where she also completed her PhD thesis in Chemistry. Afterwards she spent her post-doc time at the Weizmann-Institute in Rehovot, Israel, and at the University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA. Since 1998 she is working for EMPA (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research) in St. Gallen.
Veronika R. Meyer is author of numerous papers in international journals and books including the textbook Practical High-Performance Liquid Chromatography.
- HPLC Celebrates 50 Years overview page
with more personal stories and a wealth of free content