Remembering ...


Itzhak Ohad:

Dear Friends,
With deepest regret we inform you that Prof. Itzhak Ohad passed away on November 20th, 2016.
- Itzhak's friends and colleagues in the Hebrew University

Klaus Schulten passed away at the end of October.  See the announcement from the University of Illinois.

David Knaff passed away January 27. He served as the editor-in-chief of Photosynthesis Research for the past 15 years and was known to everyone in the field. A page will be erected in his honor in ISPR News / Remembering. Contributions (text or photos) would be greatly appreciated; please send them to this address.

Fabrice Rappaport, a friend of many in the field and the chair of the last GRC on Photosynthesis, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 12, in Paris. A page will be erected in his honor in ISPR News / Remembering. Contributions (text or photos) would be greatly appreciated; please send them to this address.

Lou Duysens (1921 – 2015)

It was announced on the week of Sept 7, 2015 that Prof. Lou Duysens had passed away. Lou was a true pioneer in photosynthesis research. Concepts such as reaction centres, light harvesting complexes and photosynthetic units can be traced back to him. Indeed, he provided much of the theoretical basis of our current understanding of the primary light reactions. We send our condolences to his family and close friends. A memorial page has been started here and friends and colleagues of Prof. Duysens are invited to contribute material to it by emailing it to the ISPR Secretary.

Jan Anderson (12 May 1932 – 28 August 2015)

It is with great sadness that we have been advised of the death of Professor Jan Anderson FAA FRS FDhc(Umea) on 28 August 2015. Jan died peacefully in Canberra after a short illness.
Jan was an Adjunct Professor at the Research School of Biology at the Australian National University. Jan was a highly distinguished plant scientist whose research focused on the molecular organization of plant thyakoid membranes, the molecular mechanisms of light regulation in higher plants and the functional/structural dynamics of photosystem II in vivo and chlorophyll-proteins of plants and algae. Jan received the Lemberg Medal and Lecture from the Australian Biochemical Society in 1983.
Jan was elected to the Australian Academy Science in 1987 and to the Royal Society in 1996. Jan received an Honorary Doctorate, University of Umeå, Sweden in 1998 and a Centenary Medal in 2000. Jan was a highly cited author, and in 2004 was the Thomson Australian Citation Laureate in Plant and Animal Biology. In 2007 Jan received the International Society of Photosynthesis Research Lifetime Achievement Award to acknowledge a lifetime of outstanding contributions to understanding photosynthesis Life. 
Further details on Jan’s research, publications and achievements can be found on her ANU profile.

A service to celebrate the life of Jan Anderson will be held from 10:30am at St John’s Church, Reid in Canberra on Tuesday, 8th September 2015. Following the service, guests are invited to join the family for light refreshments in the Jaeger Room, Shine Dome. (For catering purposes, please acknowledge your intention to attend the refreshments by email: We have been informed that the ANU is planning to hold a memorial service for Jan in October.

Colin A. Wraight (1945 – 10 July 2014)

Professor Wraight employed biochemical and biophysical methods to
understand how the structure of membrane proteins allowed them to catalyze
the transfer of electrons and protons in biological energy conversion,
processes fundamental to life on this planet. Born in 1945 in London, UK,
he studied at the University of Bristol, earning his BSc in 1967 and his
PhD in 1971. After postdoctoral research at the University of Leiden and
Cornell University, and a brief faculty position at the University of
California at Santa Barbara, he joined the faculty at the University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1975 as an assistant professor in the
Departments of Plant Biology and Physiology & Biophysics. He held many
positions during his 39 years on the faculty of our university, including
serving as Director of the Center for Biophysics and Computational Biology
from 1995-1999. He joined the Biochemistry Department in 1999 and served
as Head of Biochemistry from 2004-2009. He also held faculty positions in
the Departments of Plant Biology and Molecular & Integrative Physiology.
In addition to his important research contributions, Professor Wraight was
a passionate teacher and mentor, and an outstanding colleague who gave
unselfishly to others. He was known for the breadth and depth of his
knowledge, quick wit, and the gracious hospitality that he and his wife,
Mary, extended to all. His dedication to teaching and graduate training
even during his illness was an inspiration to all who knew him. He is
survived by Mary and their children, Lydia, Tristan and Sebastian.

See the tribute to Colin written by Govindjee here.

Warwick Hillier (18 Oct. 1967 – 10 Jan. 2014)

It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the premature death of our highly valued and talented research colleague and friend, Warwick Hillier. Warwick succumbed to a year-long fight with cancer and has left behind a young and loving family including his wife Sari and children Henry and Stella. His colleagues at the Research School of Biology are deeply saddened by his death.

Warwick was an ANU graduate (BSc Hons 1991, MSc. 1994; PhD 1999) who was awarded the Australian Young Biophysicist award in 1998. He quickly built an international reputation in the late Jerry Babcock's Laboratory (1999-2003) as an NIH postdoctoral fellow on metallo proteins and radical mechanisms, and in the Photobioenergetics group RSBS as a postdoc with Tom Wydrzynski, funded from the Human Frontier Science Program. Warwick obtained a permanent position in RSBS in May 2007 and later that year he shared the Robin Hill Award at the 14th International Photosynthesis Congress, Glasgow, for his work on the mechanism of water oxidation. In 2009 he won an Australian Future Fellowship for research in this area and at the time of his death was a Laboratory Leader in the Division of Plant Science in RSB.

Warwick’s scientific passion was to understand the mechanism of the light-driven water oxidation complex of photosystem II in photosynthesis that produced Earth’s oxygen-rich atmosphere and now sustains all oxygen requiring life on Earth. It was the source of energy accumulated in fossil fuels in the distant past and continues to drive all food production today. A more fundamentally important scientific endeavour cannot be imagined. He communicated his passion for this subject in various publically available web-based contributions (example here).

Warwick was an excellent amateur astronomer and photographer. He had many requests for use of his stunning photo of the stromatolites from Shark Bay, Western Australia for textbooks and class room use.

We know that his many colleagues and friends in Australia and around the world will join us in acknowledging Warwick as a talented high achiever in science, a good friend, a loving husband and a caring father. The School has lost one of its best and he will long be remembered by all those who knew him.

Please see the Hillier Memorial page for more recollections from Warwick's friends and colleagues.

Howard Gest (OCT. 15, 1921–APRIL 24, 2012)

Howard Gest, an internationally known scientist widely recognized for his research on microbial physiology and metabolism, died in Bloomington on April 24 of complications from a stroke. He was 90. At the time of his death, Gest was an active distinguished professor emeritus of microbiology and adjunct professor of history and philosophy of science at Indiana University, where he had served on the faculty since 1966.

He was “among the most decorated researchers in our field,” said Indiana University professor Carl Bauer, chair of the molecular and cellular biochemistry department. Gest was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society of Microbiology, and the American Academy of Microbiology. He published nearly 350 papers and books during his career, including the 1,300-page “Discoveries in Photosynthesis,” which was called in a review “easily among the most outstanding and valuable books published in the biological sciences in the last 100 years.” A prolific researcher of the history of science, he also personally worked with nine Nobel Laureates.

Gest was born in London, England, in 1921, and spent his early years in Los Angeles. He received a B.A. in bacteriology from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1942. During his undergraduate studies, he worked with Salvador E. Luria and Max Delbruck who, along with Alfred D. Hershey, won the Nobel Prize in 1969 for their discoveries concerning the genetic structure of viruses.

He began graduate work in biology with Delbruck at Vanderbilt University, but World War II intervened. Physical chemist Charles Coryell, a professor at UCLA during Gest’s time there, recruited him to work on the Manhattan Project, first at the University of Chicago and later at Oak Ridge, Tenn. As a chemist working on development of the atomic bomb, Gest signed a petition drafted by fellow scientist Leo Szilard urging President Harry Truman to demonstrate the power of the bomb to the world and give Japan an opportunity to surrender before it was used.

In 1946, Gest became a graduate student studying under biochemist Martin Kamen at Washington University in St. Louis, receiving his Ph.D. in microbiology there in 1949.

Gest was a faculty member at Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland from 1949 to 1959. He returned to Washington University as a faculty member in 1959, where he remained until he joined the faculty at Indiana University as chairman of the Department of Microbiology. At IU, he expanded his research in photosynthesis, investigated microbial evolution, and accelerated his studies on the history of research in microbiology and biochemistry.

He is survived by his wife, Virginia. His first wife, Janet, died in 1994. He also is survived by three sons, Ted, of Washington, D.C.; Michael, of Boulder, Colo.; and Donald, of Tucson, Ariz.; one grandson; and two great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held in Bloomington on a date to be announced.

Martin Gibbs (November 11, 1922-July 24, 2006)

Martin was a distinguished alumnus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (PhD, 1947, Botany (Plant Physiology)). Harry J. Fuller was his advisor. In 1996, UIUC honored him by choosing him as the recipient of the University of Illinois Achievement Award.

Martin was born in Philadelphia to Samuel and Rose (Sugarman) Gibbs. He was the Abraham S. and Gertrude Berg Professor Emeritus at Brandeis University. His early work with the Atomic Energy Commission laid the foundation for understanding of several fundamental pathways of carbon metabolism in plants. He was a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, USA, the Academie des Sciences, France, and received many honors.

He served as editor-in-chief of Plant Physiology for 30 years (1963-1992); he changed the direction of the field of Plant Physiology toward more biochemical approaches. Martin promoted contacts with, and assistance for, East European and Russian scientists in the difficult times of the 1970s and 1980s.

Martin married Svanhild Karen Kvale on October 11, 1950 (she passed away on April 7, 2006; Martin Gibbs was truly devoted to her and took care of her till her death; she suffered from Multiple Sclerosis). Martin Gibbs is survived by his 5 children, 10 grandchildren, and by his older brother Sol Gibbs.

(Notes provided by Govindjee)

André Pirson (1910-2004): a pioneer in photosynthesis and a dedicated academic teacher
Obituary by Horst Senger, Photosynthesis Research 82, (2004) 111–114,
© Springer 2004 DOI: 10.1007/s11120-004-3513-1

Birgit Vennesland (1913-2001): a great biochemist and role model
Obituary by Eric E. Conn, Elfriede K. Pistorius and Larry P. Solomonson, Photosynthesis Research 83, (2005) 11–16,
© Springer 2005 DOI: 10.1007/s11120-004-5456-y

Lawrence Bogorad (1921-2003): a pioneer in photosynthesis research
Obituary by Steve Rodermel, Jean-Frederic Viret and Enno Krebbers, Photosynthesis Research 83, (2005) 17-24,
© Springer 2005 DOI: 10.1007/s11120-004-6316-5

Jean-Marie Briantais (1936-2004): a friend and a champion of interactive and integrative research
Obituary by Yaroslav de Kouchkovsky and Zoran G. Cerovic, Photosynthesis Research 83, (2005) 1-3,
© Springer 2005 DOI: 10.1007/s11120-004-5316-9

Julio López-Gorge (1935-2004): the music in science
Obituary by Mariam Sahrawy Barragán, Photosynthesis Research 83, (2005) 283-286,
© Springer 2005 DOI: 10.1007/s11120-004-8079-4

August Ried (1924-2004): an outstanding researcher, an artist and a dear friend
Obituary by Heinrich Strotmann and Carl-Johannes Soeder, Photosynthesis Research 83, (2005) 279-281,
© Springer 2005 DOI: 10.1007/s11120-004-7330-3

Gerry J Small (1941-2004): tackled everything in life with an intense and enviable passion
Obituary by Ryszard Jankowiak and Michael Seibert, Photosynthesis Research 83, (2005) 5-9,
© Springer 2005 DOI: 10.1007/s11120-004-6329-0

John Biggins (1936-2004): His Ingenuity, Tenacity and Humor; No-Nonsense Science with a Big Heart
Obituary by Doug Bruce and Kenneth Sauer, Photosynthesis Research 85, (2005) 261-265,
© Springer 2005 DOI: 10.1007/s11120-005-6313-3

Gauri Shankar Singhal (1933-2004): a photochemist, a photobiologist, a great mentor and a generous friend
Obituary by Usha P. Andley, Poonam Nanda R. Velagaleti, Arindam Sen and Baishnab C. Tripathy, Photosynthesis Research 85, (2005) 145-148,
© Springer 2005 DOI: 10.1007/s11120-005-4912-7

Allan H Brown (1917-2004): "A career of fascination with the biological roles of O2 in terrestrial life and possibly in extraterrestrial life"
Obituary by Clanton C. Black and Berger C. Mayne, Photosynthesis Research 87, (2006) 159-163,
© Springer 2006 DOI: 10.1007/s11120-005-9017-9

Lee McIntosh (1949-2004): a pioneer in the molecular biology of chloroplast and mitochondrion function
Obituary by Hans Kende, Photosynthesis Research 87, (2006) 247-251,
© Springer 2006 DOI: 10.1007/s11120-006-9037-0

Ilya Vassiliev (1959-2005):
Obituary by Bridgette A. Barry, Photosynthesis Research 87, (2006) 245-246,
© Springer 2006 DOI: 10.1007/s11120-006-9036-1

Samuel Goodnow Wildman (1912-2004): Discoverer of Fraction I protein, later named Rubisco, who worked till he was 92
Obituary by Elaine Tobin, Photosynthesis Research 88, (2006) 105-108,
© Springer 2006 DOI: 10.1007/s11120-006-9045-0

Yoshihiko Fujita (1932-2005): A pioneer of photoregulation in cyanobacteria
Obituary by Akio Murakami and Mamoru Mimuro, Photosynthesis Research 88, (2006) 1-5,
© Springer 2006 DOI: 10.1007/s11120-005-9029-5

Vidyadhar Govind (Pandit) Tatake (1926-2004): An ingenious instrumentalist, an authority on thermoluminescence, and a lover of classical Indian music
Obituary by Prafullachandra Vishnu (Raj) Sane and Gajanan Purushottam (Bal) Phondke, Photosynthesis Research 89, (2006) 49-51,
© Springer 2006 DOI: 10.1007/s11120-006-9068-6

John Rodney Quayle (1926-2006): "a brilliant scientist who was also a wise and innovative academic administrator"
Obituary by Hans L. Kornberg, Photosynthesis Research 89, (2006) 59–62,
© Springer 2006 DOI: 10.1007/s11120-006-9069-5

Gordon Elliott (Tony) Fogg (1919-2005): pioneering plant physiologist and gifted writer
Obituary by Brenda Thake, Photosynthesis Research, (2006),
© Springer 2006 DOI: 10.1007/s11120-005-9031-y

K. Krishna Rao (1928-2006): a lifetime study of ferredoxins and solar hydrogen
Obituary by Richard Cammack, Photosynthesis Research, (2006),
© Springer 2006 DOI: 10.1007/s11120-006-9080-x

Jack Myers (1913-2006):

Horst T. Witt (1922-2007):









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