Conrad H. Schneider (1931 – 2021), In Memoriam

Conrad H. Schneider
(1931 – 2021)

The European Peptide Society is in mourning for Conrad Schneider, the founding editor of the Journal of Peptide Science. He died on May 10, 2021 shortly before his 90th birthday. Conrad was a true Bernese throughout life: He started his career at the University of Bern where he studied chemistry, physics and botany, and later he spent most of his life as professor at the Institute of Immunology and Allergology of the University of Bern until his retirement in 1997. After completing his PhD and after getting married to Hélène Schneider-DeQuervain, Conrad joined the group of Vincent Du Vigneaud at the Cornell University Medical College in New York in 1959 where he got involved in the synthesis of tritiated oxytocin and oxytocin analogs. After his return to Bern in 1962, his main focus was the development of peptide model systems for allergy and anaphylaxis research. He was one of the first to study multimeric anaphylactogens based on hexa- and deca-L-lysine carrier peptides and he demonstrated that epitope clusters strikingly enhance the affinity as compared with single-ligand interaction. These and numerous other research projects led to the development of novel diagnostic reagents in drug allergy for which he was awarded with the Max Bergmann medal in 1985.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Conrad Schneider served on the European Peptide Committee, actively participated in the establishment of the European Peptide Society, was Council member and acted as Chairman of the 22nd European Peptide Symposium held in Interlaken in 1992. This symposium was not only unforgettable because of its attractive program but also because the “free Wednesday” which made it possible to participants to reach the Jungfraujoch, the top of Switzerland, on a beautiful day with long-distance views. The many informal discussions during the symposium led to the idea of creating a proper scientific Journal for the EPS. It was thanks to Conrad’s dedication and efforts that the Journal of Peptide Science could be launched in 1995. He was founding editor from 1995 till 1999 when he handed the duties over to John Jones. With another smaller symposium under the auspices of the EPS held in Interlaken in 1995 and the ensuing proceedings “Peptides in Immunology”, Conrad Schneider summarized the state of the art in his area of research.

The European Peptide Society will always hold Conrad H. Schneider in the highest regard and honour his memory, and the Society expresses the sincerest condolences to his wife Hélène Schneider and his daughters Madeleine Schneider and Isabelle Schneider.

Contributed by Alex N. Eberle

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