Newsletter | Summer 2017 Number 74

Published quarterly by the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics Protein Data Bank

Message from RCSB PDB

Congratulations to RCSB PDB Director Emerita Helen M. Berman

RCSB PDB Director Emerita Helen M. Berman. Photo by Richard Bromund.

Congratulations to RCSB PDB Director Emerita Helen M. Berman, who was the inaugural recipient of the Award that honors the memory of David G. Rognlie at the 2016 Meeting of the American Crystallographic Association (ACA; May 26-30, 2017).

David (Dave) Rognlie was a dedicated and much loved member of the crystallographic community, interacting over many years with a large number of scientists through his activities as owner of Blake Industries which sold diffractometer equipment including Huber equipment. The award embodies Dave's values and personality; his generosity of spirit, optimism, selflessness, and unstinting desire to help others to succeed in their endeavors. Dave played a particular role in the X-ray synchrotron community, but also maintained wide-ranging interests in science and the people behind the work.

This award recognizes Helen’s accomplishments toward enabling a freely-available and uniform worldwide archive of 3D structural information for biomedical research and education. Her passion for making structural data accessible and understandable by a broad community has driven the development of the Protein Data Bank into a vital and accessible international resource for biology. In the early 1970’s, Helen was a champion of the open access of scientific information; a concept which while obvious today, was truly visionary at the time. As part of the award ceremony, Helen gave a presentation on Community Building Challenges for the Protein Data Bank.

Helen is a past president of the ACA and also the recipient of the ACA’s Martin J. Buerger Award, which is presented in recognition of mature scientists who have made contributions of exceptional distinction in areas of interest to the ACA. Her memoir is hosted at the ACA History portal.

RCSB PDB members participated at the meeting, including posters on OneDep, quaternary structure, and, presentations on Validating Structure at the wwPDB and Demonstrating the Value of 3D Macromolecular Structures, and chaired sessions on Cryo-Electron Microscopy and applying macromolecular best practices to challenging diffraction data.