An Insider’s View

February 1, 2016
Laura Bush
LCGC North America
Volume 34, Issue 2
Page Number: 88

At the heart of liquid chromatography lies a column. Because of the importance of the column, we have dedicated a regular place to it in LCGC magazine: “Column Watch.” And what has made “Column Watch” so informative over the years is that it has captured the insights of an insider-someone who really understood the workings of the column and its role in separations: Ron Majors.

At the heart of liquid chromatography lies a column. Because of the importance of the column, we have dedicated a regular place to it in LCGC magazine: “Column Watch.” And what has made “Column Watch” so informative over the years is that it has captured the insights of an insider-someone who really understood the workings of the column and its role in separations: Ron Majors. 

Ron Majors served as our “Column Watch” editor for more than three decades, having started writing in the second issue of what was then called LC Magazine in 1983 (and then adding “Sample Prep Perspectives” to his duties in 1991). During that time, Ron-a senior scientist at Agilent for much of his career-always had his finger on the pulse of advances in chromatography, and he was also in the midst of several groundbreaking developments in HPLC. (For more details, see our November 2015 supplement, The Best of Column Watch and Sample Prep Perspectives: A Salute to Ron Majors.)

Yet despite his passion for chromatography, Ron Majors has decided, following his retirement from Agilent just over a year ago, that the time has finally come to retire from writing monthly columns in our pages. We are very sad to see him go! Fortunately, he is staying active in the field, and will stay on with us as a column editor emeritus and continue to contribute articles from time to time.

We are also very fortunate that “Column Watch” will be in excellent hands, because we have found a new HPLC column insider to take over the reins: Dave Bell.

Dave received his PhD in analytical chemistry from the Pennsylvania State University, and has spent the last 20 years working on the design, development, and application of chromatographic stationary phases to advance liquid chromatography and related hyphenated techniques. In his current role, as the manager of HPLC Surface Chemistry and Health Sciences Research at MilliporeSigma, Dave’s main objectives are to create and promote novel LC technologies and to research molecular interactions that contribute to retention and selectivity in chromatographic processes. He presents his research results in journals and at numerous symposia around the globe.

It was Dave’s reputation as a scientific speaker and author that led Ron to recommend him as his successor. “I had heard that Dave was a good lecturer, attended his presentation at HPLC 2014 in New Orleans, and read some of his scientific papers and was impressed,” said Ron. “His presentations and writings showed a real in-depth understanding of the chemistry behind column technology.” His subsequent guest contributions to “Column Watch” last year confirmed this view.

And of course, it is also Dave’s position as an insider that convinced us he was the right person to take over this role. “Since Dave’s position is an R&D leader in column technology at MilliporeSigma, I thought that this perspective would provide insight into the inner workings of column chemistry and help to point out future directions in the technology of HPLC and UHPLC columns,” Ron continued.

What’s more, Dave understands not only the theory of column chemistry, but what happens when you apply it to the real-world problems our readers face. He spent the first decade of his career in the pharmaceutical industry-performing analytical method development and validation using various forms of chromatography and electrophoresis-and his work at MilliporeSigma gives him plenty of exposure to other fields as well. “Dave is very knowledgeable about the applications of HPLC and UHPLC columns in a wide range of fields,” Ron added.

So it is with great pride that I salute two column insiders for providing their insights to LCGC’s readers: I take my hat off to Ron Majors for all his great work in these pages over the past three decades, and I welcome in Dave Bell, recognizing the excellent work he began last year and will continue for years to come.

Laura Bush
Editorial Director
lbush@advanstar.com