06 November 2009

Remembering Warren Delano

For those of you who haven’t heard, Warren Delano, author of PyMOL, died earlier this week. His sister Jen has established a blog for people to record their memories.

Many of you have used PyMOL for visualizing crystallographic and NMR structures. Even if you haven’t used the program directly, hardly a week goes by without papers appearing in Science, Nature, and other high-profile journals adorned with beautiful illustrations created with his software. Every protein-fragment structure I’ve looked at in detail has been through the lens of PyMOL.

Warren and I overlapped in Jim Wells’ group at Genentech, and Warren was one of the first people to join Sunesis, where he stayed until PyMOL became so successful that he left to devote himself to it full time. He was a brilliant programmer, a gifted scientist, and a valued friend.

Warren’s insights and creations illuminated macromolecular structures with the clarity of science and the grace of art. The world is darker without him.

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