Helen M. Free, DSc

In July 2023, we changed our name from AACC (short for the American Association for Clinical Chemistry) to the Association for Diagnostics & Laboratory Medicine (ADLM). The following page was written prior to this rebranding and contains mentions of the association’s old name. It may contain other out-of-date information as well.

2006 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Chemistry

Dr. Free has spent her entire scientific career of more than 60 years at Bayer Healthcare Diagnostics Division (formerly Miles Laboratories) in Elkhart, Ind., where she continues as a professional relations consultant in the diabetes care division.

Her work has ranged from her start as a control chemist to senior new products manager of microbiological test systems to director of specialty test systems to director of marketing services.

She has taught management at Indiana University at South Bend for 20 years. She has served AACC in many capacities, including two terms on the board of directors; as a member of the Professional Relations Commission, Nominating Committee, and Public Relations Committee; as chair of the Committee on Divisional Affairs and Chicago Section; and as president in 1990. She is a past president of the National Registry of Certified Chemists.

Dr. Free is a 50-year member of the American Chemical Society (ACS), which she served as president in 1993. The ACS presented her its Garvan Medal for distinguished service to chemistry by a woman, and in her honor, instituted the Helen M. Free Award in Public Outreach in 1995 (she was the first recipient).

She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Chemists, and the Royal Society of Chemistry. Dr. Al Free, her late husband of nearly 53 years, was also a Bayer chemist. Together, they are enshrined in the Science and Engineering Hall of Fame and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

1990 AACC Past President’s Award

Helen Free, DSc served as the AACC president in 1990.