Biophysical Society Newsletter - August 2016





and fun personality made him an always- welcomed collaborator. And Bill was indeed an energetic and joyful collaborator; he welcomed the process of research not only for the occa- sional glimpse of the new frontier, but also for personal contacts made by sharing the adven- ture with friends. Part of what made Bill’s life so well lived was his incredible generosity in interacting with others. Bill was a model of how outstanding intellectual achievement can be combined with a humble and friendly personality. Since his sad loss, many people have emailed us with stories of how Bill inspired them. One meticu- lously organized friend speaks of how he ar- ranged a meeting with Bill to consult with him on how to be a parent since Bill’s example had served as the model that he wanted to sculpt himself. It is no exaggeration to say that we never once heard Bill engage in mean spirited comments or gossip about anyone, and by way of contrast, heard many people say that they wish they could be more like him. As a men- tor, his focus was always on how to best impact the intellectual development and careers of his students rather than the oft-seen approach where students are seen as a conduit to improv- ing the professor’s career. Students loved the care he devoted to his teaching, and the dozens

of tributes that have been delivered by former students since his untimely death only hint at the tremendously positive impact he had on them. Bill’s quiet love of adventure continued outside of his work life. His love of surfing was well known, coloring how he spent his mornings before work, with his analytical mind hard at work studying storm patterns in the Northern Pacific that heralded the arrival of a swell in Southern California several days later. In 2006, one of us took a two-week trip together with Bill on a boat in the remote Mentawai Islands off the coast of Sumatra in Indonesia. These islands are home to some of the most legendary waves on the planet, where Bill was in the water with the world surfing champion in an idyllic tropical paradise that he never forgot. Above all, Bill was a family man. Anyone who knew him knew that his family was front and center no matter what the circumstances. Bill’s senseless, premature death has left a perma- nent void for those who loved him most. Bill is irreplaceable, but his presence helped shape whoever had the pleasure of knowing him into a better scientist, friend, and human being. — Rob Phillips, Robijn Bruinsma, Alex Levine

On the Move

Anne Hamacher-Brady moved from the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany, where she was an independent research group leader to become an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. Yadilette Rivera-Colón moved from a postdoctoral fellowship at the Depart-

ment of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, to Bay Path University, Longmeadow, Massachu- setts, where she is undergraduate research coordinator and assistant professor of biology. Rivera- Colón is a member of the Society’s Education Committee and an alumna of the BPS Summer Program in Biophysics. Have you changed positions recently or know of a BPS member who is? Send news of your move to

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