Wayne Hendrickson awarded 13th Ewald Prize

Professor Hendrickson at a 75th birthday celebration for Herbert Hauptman and Jerome Karle in Buffalo, NY, USA, in October 1992 (photo contributed to the IUCr gallery by Bill Duax).

The 13th Ewald Prize has been awarded to Wayne A. Hendrickson (Columbia University, NY, USA) for his exceptional contribution to structural biology including the development of MAD/SAD methods and crystallographic theory. No-one else is so singularly and formatively identified with the explosive growth in biological crystallography and the consequent benefits to chemistry and biology.

Wayne Hendrickson transformed structural biology when he discovered and perfected resonant diffraction methods for determining the atomic-level structures of biological molecules, namely the methods of MAD (multiwavelength anomalous diffraction) and its single-wavelength variation SAD, which are now “household” terms in the field of crystallography. MAD and SAD derive from a marriage of chemistry with physics and biology and are the methods of choice for de novo X-ray determinations where there is no structural precedent. The ease with which macromolecular structures are determined by these methods served in founding the field of structural genomics, and has led to a flood of atomic-level molecular hypotheses, including many from Hendrickson himself, to inform biochemistry, physiology and genomics.

Like the late Professor Ewald, Hendrickson advanced the foundations of crystallography; his essential contributions include not only MAD and SAD but also his phase-encoding coefficients (Hendrickson–Lattman coefficients) and stereochemically restrained refinement.

Professor Hendrickson will deliver the Ewald Prize Lecture during the Opening Ceremony of the 26th IUCr Congress on 22 August 2023.

For a list of papers by Professor Hendrickson appearing in IUCr journals click here.

28 March 2023

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