Born Apr 11 1913 - Died May 15 2000
Composition of Matter
Glucose Detection for Diabetes
Patent Number(s) 2,848,308
In the mid-1940s, Alfred Free and Helen Murray were both chemists working together in the biochemistry research group at Miles Laboratories, Inc., in Elkhart, Indiana. Married in 1947, they continued their collaboration, becoming two of the world’s leading experts on urinalysis.The Frees co-authored two books: Urodynamics and Urinalysis in Laboratory Practice, both considered notable works in the field.
Their contributions include the development of dry reagents that have become the standard in laboratory urinalysis and the more consumer-oriented "dip-and-read" tests that first enabled diabetics to easily and accurately monitor their blood glucose levels on their own.
The Frees each had a career spanning more than 30 years at Miles Labs, now Bayer AG. Alfred Free earned his undergraduate degree at Miami University (Ohio) and his master’s and doctoral degrees at Western Reserve University (Ohio). Helen Free earned her undergraduate degree at the College of Wooster (Ohio) in 1944 and a master’s degree in management/health care administration from Central Michigan University in 1978.
For their outstanding collaborative efforts, the Frees were awarded the Laboratory Public Service National Leadership Award in 1995. Although Alfred Free has passed away, his spirit of invention lives on. Helen Free continues to promote science education through programs around the world.