In 1965 Dr. William D. Linscott joined the Microbiology & Immunology faculty of the University of California San Francisco. As a lecturer and researcher, he specialized in studies of the complement components of the immune system. (A partial list of his published work is included below.)
Like many bench scientists, Dr. Linscott was frequently frustrated by the amount of time he had to spend to locate suppliers of specific reagents. And like many researchers of that time, he kept a shelf full of reagent company catalogs and often had to flip through them one at a time to see if this or that company had this or that antibody.
In 1979 Dr. Linscott had an epiphany, and decided that someone should put all the companies' product information together in one volume so researchers only had to refer to one book to find many products from many sources. In 1980 the First Edition of "Linscott's Catalog of Immunological and Biological Reagents" was published. After 39 years we are still going strong, though our well known bright pink book has now given way to our online version (which first appeared in 1999) to better keep up with the ever accelerating rate of reagent development.
Besides being the very first of what is now a crowded field of reagent listing resources, Linscott’s Directory set the standard for how to organize and standardize reagent data. In the early days, research labs and libraries from virtually every major pharmaceutical company, medical center and governmental institution dealing with biomedical research maintained subscriptions to the print version of the Directory. As the internet developed, we evolved to offer a completely free and open online version of the Directory, supported by the suppliers that list their products. Many prominent institutions still maintain copies of our original print editions (we know that they have been used as evidence in various patent disputes and other legal proceedings), and host links to our current online Directory. A few examples include the National Institutes of Health, Johns Hopkins Medical Institute, Canadian Cytometry and Microscopy Association, Auburn University, Cornell University, University of Colorado Health Sciences Library, University of Freiburg, University of Texas Medical Branch, and many others.
As we approach our 40th anniversay, we at Linscott’s Directory of Immunological and Biological Reagents want to thank our innumerable users and hundreds of reagent supplying companies and institutions that have supported the Directory over the years. We are proud to continue our preeminent role of supporting important biomedical research around the world.
We always like to get feedback from the biotech research community, so if you have comments or suggestions about the Directory please contact us.
A partial list of publications by Dr. William D. Linscott