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Wlodawer receives doctor honoris causa

[Wlodawer]Alexander Wlodawer
It is a pleasure to communicate to the crystallographic community that with the approval of the Academic Senate, the Technical U. of Lodz has awarded Alexander Wlodawer the privileges and title of Doctor Honoris Causa. The presentation ceremony took place October 1, 2004, as part of the inauguration of the academic year 2004/2005. This honor is bestowed on only the most distinguished scientists, with the previous recipients in the field of crystallography being Herbert Hauptman and William Duax.

Alex was one of the pioneers of the applications of synchrotron radiation and neutron diffraction in protein crystallography. His name is permanently associated with the exciting history of the discoveries of the secrets of the molecules of life with the use of the research arsenal of crystallography. Born and educated in Poland, Alex obtained his Ph.D. with David Eisenberg at UCLA. Since 1987 he has been the Head of the Macromolecular Crystallography Lab at the National Cancer Inst. (NCI), Frederick, MD, USA. His research at the NCI is marked with several discoveries in structural biology, with consequences in pharmacology and medicine. The most notable is the determination in his laboratory of the structure of two retroviral enzymes, including the structure of retroviral protease, which provided the foundation for the spectacular success in the rational design of drugs for the treatment of AIDS.

To commemorate the award, Grzegorz Bujacz organized a scientific symposium on “Crystallography of Biomolecules”, with participation of all leading Polish protein crystallographers. The symposium took place at the Institute of Technical Biochemistry, Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Sciences of the Technical U. of Lodz.

Grzegorz Bujacz (Lodz, Poland)