Heather Holmes

A photo of Heather Holmes

Associate Professor


501L Science Complex


[email protected]


Analytical Chemistry

  • BS, Eastern Michigan University
  • Ph.D., University of Michigan

Interests and Expertise

My research interests involve the development of instrumentation and methods to monitor biological processes in tissue cultures in real-time. The instrument incorporates a cell incubation device with a cryofocusing inlet suitable for use with high-speed gas chromatography (GC). High-speed GC is capable of separating complex mixtures in one-tenth the time of conventional GC, on the order of seconds rather than minutes. These short analysis times make real-time monitoring of biological systems possible. The focus is on the detection and quantitation of the products of lipid peroxidation in model systems and tissue cultures. These products include alkanes, n-alkanals, alk-2-en-als, and 4-hydroxyalkenals. Direct monitoring is accomplished by focusing and concentrating gaseous products in the headspace of tissue cultures for injection into a time of flight (TOF) mass spectrometer. The high scanning rates of TOF instruments are compatible with high-speed GC, and the second dimension of data facilitates positive identification of analytes. This is a decided advantage for complex and dynamic biological systems.


  • CHEM 481 and 381 lab Instrumental Analysis
  • CHEM 281–282 Quantitative Analysis
  • CHEM 121–124 General Chemistry

Publications and Presentations

  • Measurement of Hexanal Production by Myoglobin-Induced Lipid Peroxidation Using a Miniature Incubator and Cryofocusing Inlet System with Gas Chromatography and Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry. Clifford, C.; Gutman, P.; Amunugama, M; Karunaratne, S.; Soltani, M.; Venkatachalam, K.; Pernecky, S.; Holmes, H. Chromatographia, in press, August, 2004.
  • Using Stationary Points on Potential Energy Surfaces to Model Intermolecular Interactions and Retention in Gas Chromatography. Knox, J. E.; Hratchian, H. P.; Trease, N.; Struble, J.; Schlegel, H. B.; Holmes, H. Chromatographia, 2004, 59, 329–334.
  • Speciated Hydrocarbon Emissions and the Associated Local Ozone Production from an Automotive Gasoline Engine. Bohac, S. V.; Assanis, D. N.; Holmes, H. L. S. Int. Journal of Engine Research, 2004, 5, 53–70.
  • Vector Model for Window-Diagram Optimization of Tunable Column Ensembles for High-Speed GC. Smith (Holmes), H. L.; Sacks, R. D. J. Sep. Sci., 1998, 25, 37–44.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Chemical Society