Ed Lattman is the recipient of the 2019 Isidor Fankuchen Award, an award that is given “to recognize contributions to crystallographic research by one who is known to be an effective teacher of crystallography.”
He is the Director of the BioXFEL Center, an NSF Science and Technology Center focused on applying new X-ray laser technology to further our understanding of the structure and function of biomacromolecular machines. He is also Professor of Structural Biology in the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Science. His scholarly achievements have contributed fundamentally to macromolecular crystallography and other diffraction methods. Ed was the first to articulate the currently used approach to molecular replacement, in which a known molecular structure is placed into an unknown cell. Today, almost five decades later, roughly 75 percent of all new protein structures are determined using this technique; few other advances achieve this degree of influence. Perhaps more importantly, Ed has contributed to the advancement of crystallography by thinking broadly and with deep insight into issues; for instance, he has written profoundly about conceptual problems in protein folding. Ed’s teaching of crystallography comprises a number of modalities over the years. His formal lectures have a clarity that helps his audience understand complex issues. At Johns Hopkins, in the laboratory and in Friday afternoon beer sessions, he thoughtfully and clearly discussed the nuances of crystallographic theory and practice making him a wonderful mentor. Ed brought his skills of teaching to IMCA with remarkable impact. He has provided a vision for growth and expansion of their scientific capabilities and of their thinking; for instance, he educates on new technologies. One of his wonderful qualities is his interest in the advancement of each scientist. At IMCA this has manifested itself by his talking to all of the IMCA staff and board members about science and about scientific growth and development. As a testament to the significant and prolonged impact that Ed has had and will continue to have is the authorship, with Patrick Loll, of a graduate text Protein Crystallography, a masterpiece of clarity. His impact goes far beyond that provided by his own publication list.