Solomon A. Berson helped develop the radioimmunoassay (RIA) technique in the US during the twentieth century. Berson made many scientific contributions while working with research partner Rosalyn Yalow at the Bronx Veterans Administration (VA) hospital, in New York City, New York. In the more than twenty years that Berson and Yalow collaborated, they refined the procedures for tracing diagnostic biological compounds using isotope labels. In the late 1950s they developed the RIA based on the ability to trace the competition between and ligands, or small molecules that bind to specific sites of other biomolecules, and proteins for the same molecular binding site, a process called competitive binding. Scientists widely used Berson and Yalow's RIA, as these methods permit the use of a minimal sample of blood for accurate measurements of biological molecules such as hormones that cause the production of antibodies. Berson and Yalow's research has advanced the study of physiology, including that of the reproductive system, with particular applications to the diagnosis and treatment of infertility.
Rosalyn Sussman Yalow co-developed the radioimmunoassay (RIA), a method used to measure minute biological compounds that cause immune systems to produce antibodies. Yalow and research partner Solomon A. Berson developed the RIA in the early 1950s at the Bronx Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital, in New York City, New York. Yalow and Berson's methods expanded scientific research, particularly in the medical field, and contributed to medical diagnostics. For this achievement, Yalow received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1977. The RIA technique is used to measure more than one hundred biochemical substances, including infectious agents, narcotics, and hormones, such as those used to diagnose infertility and hypothyroidism.