Pages from issue 80 Mar 02

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photo Max Perutz
Max Perutz 1914 - 2002

The following note is based on that written by Richard Henderson on the day Max died.
A full obituary will be published in the June issue of Crystallography News.

Max Perutz died early in the morning of February 6th from cancer which developed during the last few months. Max was the Chairman of the MRC Laboratory at Cambridge from its opening in 1962 in the present building until 1979 when he continued as a "retired worker", publishing over 100 papers and articles during his retirement. Until the Friday before Christmas he was active in the lab almost every day, submitting his last paper just a few days before then. This paper, on the structure of the glutamine repeats in Huntington's Disease, is now in press in PNAS.

Max will be remembered for his pioneering work in protein crystallography using X-ray diffraction, which led to the determination of the atomic structures of oxy and deoxy haemoglobin and the growth of the flourishing field of macromolecular crystallography. He was a gifted writer and lecturer who wrote many essays, books and book reviews. He had a special talent for attracting and supporting other outstanding scientists whose work laid the foundations of Molecular Biology, first in the MRC Unit for Molecular Biology in the Cavendish and, later, on the Hills Road site in the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. He took particular pleasure in talking with students and other young scientists about their work.

We shall miss him and long remember the splendid example he has set for us all.

Click here for further details of the acheivments of Max Perutz on this website.

News from ISIS

New Technical Director for Diamond

photo Richard Walker
Richard Walker

On 13 November 2001 the CLRC Press release announced the appointment of the Technical Director for Diamond, the synchrotron due to be built at the CLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. He is Dr Richard Walker, who started his new job on 7 January 2002. The appointment has been made jointly by the OST, the Wellcome Trust and the French Government. Dr Walker has been at Sincrotron Trieste in Italy since 1988 where he was Director of the Light Sources Division. Prior to his employment in Italy Dr Walker spent 13 years in the Accelerator Physics Section at Daresbury Laboratory in Warrington, location of the UK's Synchrotron Radiation Source (SRS).

New! Diamond Web discussion group

Members of the diamond user community are invited to contribute to our newly launched web discussions group. From here you can search the archives, post a message and look at messages gathered by the month of posting. The discussion area is available at This discussion area is only available to registered users. To register, fill in the application form located at the link above.

B.T.M. Willis Prize awarded to Chick Wilson

Congratulations to Chick Wilson; he has been awarded the first BTM Willis Prize, given by the Neutron Scattering Group of the Institute of Physics and the Royal Society of Chemistry, for outstanding contributions to neutron scattering science. He delivered his prize lecture, entitled 'Beyond the Thermal Ellipsoid in Molecular Crystal Structures', at the Neutron and Muon Users Meeting recently in Grenoble at the ILL.

The Willis Prize and Lectureship is now an annual award in honour of Terry Willis, a founding father of the neutron scattering group. It is expected that normally the recipient of the lectureship will be under 40 years old and employed at a British University, Institution or Research Facility (including the Institut Laue Langevin, Grenoble). A detailed nomination must be made to the Chairman of the Neutron Scattering Group and must be accompanied by three letters of support from appropriate authorities in the field, of which at least two must be from outside the nominee's institution. For further information, see

Page last updated 07 Oct 2002
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