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  • Office:  Greene 323
  • Phone:  245-5927
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Eric D. Helms

Assistant Professor
Bioorganic Chemistry

Chemistry 103 Syllabus

Chemistry 300 Syllabus

Chemistry 352 Syllabus

B.S.,  Rockford College, Rockford, Illinois
Ph.D.,  University of Texas at Austin

Representative Publications:

Arpaia, N.; Widener, M.; Helms, E.; "Assigning the NMR Spectrum of Glycidol: An Advanced Organic Chemistry Exercise"; Journal of Chemical Education, in press.

Odenbaugh, Amy L. , Helms, Eric D., Iverson, Brent L.Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry,2000,8, 413-426. "An Investigation of Antibody Acyl Hydrolysis Catalysis Using a Large Set of Related Haptens"

Shreder, K., Thomas, R., Wallace, M., Helms, E., Iverson, B., Isr. J. Chem., 1996, 36, 215-220. "Evolution of Catalytic Activity throughout a Polyclonal Immune Response Elicited by a Transition-State-Analog Hapten."

Chemical Genealogy

Our current group is primarily concerned with isolating a halogenated polyacetlyene compound from Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis Margaritacea) and the enzyme responsible for its halogenation. Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks as we develop a nice description for this web page!

Our other research interests are in the field of polyclonal cataytic antibodies. Catalytic antibodies are an exciting class of catalysts that offer catalytic activity combined with programmable specificity reminiscent of natural enzymes. For example, catalytic antibodies have been produced that exhibit substrate specificity, regioselectivity, and stereoselectivity.

Currently, our group is exploring differences in the amount of catalytic activity produced by related haptens in polyclonal antibody preparations. The results obtained with polyclonal antibodies are of general value, allowing accurate identification of important trends in observed catalytic activity through systematic comparative studies of several structurally similar haptens.

A second area of investigation involves stabilizing catalytic antibodies for long periods of time, allowing catalytic reactions to be run over a period of months and thus reacting large amounts of substrate with small amounts of catalyst. One such method under investigation is the immobilization of catalytic antibodies in glass.

A student working with catalytic antibodies will become proficient in a wide range of important techniques. These include computer assisted molecular design, synthetic organic chemistry, immunological techniques, protein purification, and catalytic assays. Such a student will possess a broad understanding of bioorganic chemistry, providing a solid foundation for a career in the biotechnology industry, the pharmaceutical industry, or academic chemistry.


This page was last updated on: January 25, 2007 10:57 AM