Since the 1960s, Prof. Meir Wilchek has studied "biorecognition”: the process in which biological substances "recognize" one another and form a bond. In particular, Wilcheck and his colleagues have focused on the strongest biological bond in nature, formed by the egg-white protein avidin and the vitamin biotin.
Institute research on the avidin-biotin bond has provided the basis for thousands of applications in medicine, research and industry. Probes containing the avidin-biotin complex today constitute a $250 million a year market. Uses range from pollution control and blood clotting to diagnosis of genetic diseases, AIDS and various kinds of cancer.