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Greg Helms retirement announcement

Please join me in congratulating Greg Helms on his retirement from Washington State University (WSU) effective May 31. Greg has done an outstanding job supporting the WSU Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Center and the NMR Center user community. It is difficult, if not impossible, to summarize all his achievements over 24 years of dedicated service to WSU.

Greg came to WSU in 1996 from Merck Pharmaceuticals. When he arrived, there was one functioning NMR at WSU. His efforts and vision expanded the facility to what it is today. To begin with, he repaired and rebuilt a second instrument from a non-functional unit and available parts. Greg, with the late Jeremy Evans, wrote a series of successful grant proposals which provided the Center with dedicated solid state NMR instruments. He later sold the larger instrument in order to purchase a liquid state NMR, which is still the most powerful instrument in the center. Throughout his time here, Greg continually led efforts to upgrade the center’s technology.

Greg also jump-started structural biological NMR at WSU. Along with Bill Hiscox, he developed methods of NMR analysis and metabolomics of living microalgae, leading to published papers and two Ph.D theses. Greg published more than 43 scientific papers during his career at WSU.

In addition to his stewardship of the facility, Greg for many years led an NSF funded NMR workshop for college faculty from primarily undergraduate institutions. He has mentored a number of graduate students, sat on their committees, and proposed and directed their research. Greg’s outreach to other institutions in the state, various businesses, and the wider NMR community has brought much prestige to WSU.

Greg’s efforts have assured the NMR Center’s success well into the future. We are indebted to Greg for his vision and commitment. Please join me in extending best wishes to Greg in his new endeavors.

Christopher J. Keane, Vice President for Research

For more information, please contact Lisa Brown-Haas at

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