HISTORY founding tecmag

Founding ( - 1983)

In 1982, while Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, Dr. John Delayre was designing and building a complete observe channel (transmitter and receiver) for an NMR experiment that involved looking silmultaneously at Proton (H1) and Phosphorous (P31) resonance properties of a perfused beating rat heart in a 20 mm sample tube, the first channel being provided by a commercial spectrometer.

At that time, several scientists were designing their own NMR instruments: Dave Ruben at MIT, Dick Wittebort in Louisville, Bob McKay in St Louis, Bob Santini at Purdue, Rudi Nunlist at Berkeley, to name a few. It seemed a good idea to offer other scientists a proven design to upgrade their NMR spectrometers.

The NMRkit was then created, the name coming from the HeathKit concept which, at that time, was very successful. The NMRkit had two different versions: the one to build with all the necessary parts including printed circuit boards, and the one already built and tested. The name of Tecmag was used as the manufacturer of the NMRkit. Flyers were sent to numerous scientists, thanks to the Experimental NMR Conference (ENC) mailing list.

Interestingly enough, the first product delivered by Tecmag was not the NMRkit. In early 1981, the Cardiology Department of Hershey Medical School was highly interested in P31 NMR studies of the heart. They had just acquired a TMR (Topical Magnetic Resonance) from Oxford Instruments, an instrument that was focusing the magnetic field into a ball of roughly 20mm. Dissatisfied with the computer system, they had asked John to upgrade their system with a Nicolet computer, which he did. They also wanted to perform proton decoupling experiment on this same instrument for which no device existed. John built the decoupler, the DECkit, which was installed in October 1982.

When John joined the University of Houston Medical School in June 1983, he decided to incorporate Tecmag in Texas as a C corporation, which was done on May 6, 1983.