Dr. Helmke received his undergraduate degree in Biochemical Sciences with honors from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from UCLA before moving to Colorado to pursue an academic career focused on protein biochemistry and quantitative mass spectrometry. His research has spanned a wide variety of fields with publications in pharmacology, neuroscience, cardiology, endocrinology, and analytical chemistry. Dr. Helmke holds US Patent #6,566,047 for a method to identify neuron growth promoting factors and has patents pending on a novel therapeutic target for heart failure, new biomarkers for thyroid cancer, and a method for mass spectrometric quantification of proteins. He was involved in the startup of Myogen and directed their first laboratory project, a contract from Lilly to investigate mechanisms of heart failure. He was the lead scientist on a Pfizer sponsored project at the University of Colorado to develop quantitative mass spectrometry of phospho-proteins for the screening of new cancer drugs.
Dr. Helmke was a member of the scientific team in Dr. Everson’s laboratory at the University of Colorado that developed and validated quantitative mass spectrometry testing methods for the cholates used in the HepQuant tests, to meet FDA standards for accuracy, precision, reproducibility, and freedom from interferences. These methods were used to analyze studies of HCV, PSC, and NASH and the data was used for development of the Disease Severity Index, US Patent #9,091,701. In 2017, Dr. Helmke left the University of Colorado to become the Chief Scientific Officer for HepQuant.