Obituary

 

Edgar Meyer (1935 - 2015)



 

By Helen Berman 

RefleXions, Summer 2015


I was very sad to learn that Edgar Meyer had passed away in late April 2015. I first met Edgar at MIT in 1966 when he was a post-doc in Cy Levinthal's laboratory where he was working on visualizing protein structures using what was then a very novel graphics system. Over the next few years we worked together to encourage community interest in setting up the Protein Data Bank. Once the PDB was established in 1971, I visited Brookhaven National Laboratory where Edgar and Walter Hamilton invited me to collaborate on the CRYSNET project. The idea of the project was to enable structural biologists without large computing resources access to the then state of the art computer facilities at BNL and to analyze their results on a home computer with graphics capabilities. Throughout his career, Edgar was devoted to utilizing the newest technologies to understand structure. When Ed retired from the Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics at Texas A & M where he had been a crystallographer for over 36 years, he moved on to the next phase of his career, as a molecular sculptor. His favorite structure (and sculpture) was co-chaperonin (cen.xraycrystals.org/edgar-meyers-favorite-structure/). When I was asked to write something on Ed's passing for RefleXions I remembered that his autobiography had been published in the spring 2014 issue (pages 38-40); I quickly realized that I could not tell his story better than Ed did himself. His memoir will also be posted to the ACA history site under the "People" menu item. He will be missed by many of us in the crystallographic community.