Welcome to the History Portal of the American Crystallographic Association

LINK: Meet Structural Scientists LINK: ACA Beginnings LINK: Videos/Audios 
LINK: Nobel Prize Winners LINK: Impact of Structural Science LINK: Crystallography in the Americas

Click on Meet Structural Scientists to see the People List. Over 100 crystallographers and structural scientists are featured.

Latest Additions

Encounter a wealth of fascinating details about well-known crystallographers whose obituaries have recently been added.

Carroll K. Johnson

Estela M. Roque Infante

John S. Kasper 

Elizabeth M. Holt

Edward C. Lingafelter 

Howard F. McMurdie
Raymond E. Davis
Louis T. J. Delbaere
Lodovico Riva
Di Sanseverino

George Guy Dodson

Latest Additions 

In her ACA Warren Award Lecture, Jacqueline M. Cole described her experimental work with a solid-state light-induced molecular switch that she engineered to have optical tunability. The video of her presentation is now online at ACA History. The video of the 2021 Buerger Award lecture presented by Wah Chiu is now online. Titled “CryoEM Structures of Macromolecules,” Chiu’s lecture exhibits the tremendous advances in the field to produce the more than 4,000 structures between 1-4 Å now deposited. Advanced data processing can even be used to distinguish structural variations in membrane ion channels and RNA.
The obituary for Carroll K. Johnson (1929 - 2021) is now online. Johnson originated the well-known ORTEP (Oak Ridge Thermal-Ellipsoid Plot Program) in 1965, which rapidly became a favorite of crystallographers and protein crystallographers to make illustrations of crystal structures for conference presentations and publications. ORTEP is one of the most cited publications in crystallography with over 30,000 citations. Johnson was recognized for his crystallographic research on thermal motion analysis with the Buerger Award in 1997. He was president of the ACA in 1977.  AmzelMario Amzel (1942 - 2021) grew up in Buenos Aires and studied science at university, where he became interested in relating thermodynamics to structure. Throughout his career he was trying to answer the question, “Can you go from coordinates to thermodynamics?” After a military coup in Argentine, he and a group of others went to Universidad Central de Venezuela, where he received his Ph.D. He then came to Johns Hopkins to the lab of Roberto Poljak where they determined the first structure of a Fab fragment: “It was the first structure that allowed people to know how antibody recognize antigens.” During his career he has been particularly interested in how mutations affect function, in enzymes and in sodium channels. For the future of structure determination he predicts, “Eventually, my impression is that many of the structures will have to be determined crystallographically and will have to be combined, combined with EM structures, and that will be where we are going to look for the answers.” Finally, he gives his philosophy of research: “I'm not here to make a medication. I'm here for people to understand how things work.” Click here to read his 2020 interview with David Zierler. 
 gluskerJenny P. Glusker describes her life and scientific career in this oral interview with David Zierler of the American Institute of Physics. Jenny Pickworth worked with Dorothy Hodgkin at Oxford on the structure of vitamin B12. She came to the USA, married Don Glusker, and did postdoctoral research at Caltech with Linus Pauling, Robert Corey and Dick Marsh. She joined Lindo Patterson at the Institute for Cancer Research in Philadelphia, where she had an illustrious career researching small molecule structures and their interactions with DNA and proteins. She became expert at the interactions between metals and proteins. She and Kenneth Trueblood wrote a primer, Crystal Structure Analysis, which presents a clearly written description of the process, including the mathematics.  

The ACA History Project showcases and preserves the history of crystallography, X-ray diffraction, and structural science through online access, articles in ACA RefleXions quarterly magazine, and videos to our
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