Dr. Alfred Bader, co-founder of Sigma-Aldrich Corp., will speak on, "The History of Aldrich and Sigma-Aldrich, With Advice to Young Scientists," on Thursday, Oct. 5 at 11 a.m. in Lipsett Amphitheater, Bldg. 10.
What would you do if you had problems getting materials for your research — if your small order was ignored by a large supplier or if incorrectly labeled chemicals almost cost you your job? Bader used such frustrations to help build a company and advance biomedical research. The Aldrich Chemical Co., later Sigma-Aldrich, provided an array of organic and biochemical compounds, saving investigators hours of preparatory work.
Bader often took care of problems personally. NIDDK chemist Kenner Rice recalled, "When I was a postdoc at NIH in 1974, Dr. Bader used to come to our labs in Bldg. 4 and ask how he could help. I remember I'd once previously told him that a chemical I'd bought from Aldrich was a mixture and showed him the spectra — he had it replaced right away."
The thick Aldrich and Sigma-Aldrich catalogs soon became well-recognized laboratory staples. Innovative catalog features included physical property information and bibliographic citations. In addition, both the catalog and the spectra
were among the earliest available via computer. Many chemicals developed at NIH have been licensed to Sigma-Aldrich and distributed by them to scientists all over the world.
Bader is also a famed art collector. After leaving Sigma-Aldrich, he has concentrated on his art gallery, personal art collection, writing, lecturing and philanthropy.
Bader’s visit is cosponsored by the Office of NIH History and the American Chemical Society.