Helen Free

FREE, Helen Mae, née Murray, American clinical chemist, b-1923. Diagnostic tests that she invented were quick, simple and effective, becoming standard tests in medical labs. One of the pioneers of diagnostic reagent manufacture by industry for clinical chemists to use in hospital labs. Helen worked for Miles Laboratories inc., eventually as Director of Clinical Laboratory Reagents (Ames Division). She is still a consultant with them. Her concept was of tablet, paper-strip or dipstick tests to measure constituents of urine. A holder of many patents, and with many  publications (some jointly with her husband). Also she created products with a view to patients being able to monitor their own urine composition, such as with diabetics evaluating their own glucose levels. In 1975 Helen published a book, ‘Urinalysis in Clinical Laboratory Practice’, a standard text. In 1980 she was awarded the Garvan Medal, and in 1990 and 1993 was President of the American Chemical Society.

Clinical Chemist - Inventor

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