Don Craig Wiley

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Don Craig Wiley
Don Craig Wiley.jpg
BornOctober 21, 1944
DiedNovember 2001 (aged 57)
Alma materTufts University[1]
Harvard University
Spouse(s)Katrin Valgeirsdottir[2]
Scientific career
Doctoral studentsMichael Eisen[3][4][5]
Pamela J. Bjorkman

Don Craig Wiley (October 21, 1944 – November 2001) was an American structural biologist.[2][6][7][8][9]


Wiley received his doctoral degree in biophysics in 1971 from Harvard University, where he worked under the direction of the subsequent 1976 chemistry Nobel Prize winner William N. Lipscomb, Jr.[10] There, Wiley did early work on the structure of aspartate carbamoyltransferase, the largest molecular structure determined at that time.[11] Noteworthy in this effort was that Wiley managed to grow crystals of aspartate carbamoyltransferase suitable for obtaining its X-ray structure, a particularly difficult task in the case of this molecular complex.

Career and research

Wiley was world-renowned for finding new ways to help the human immune system battle such viral scourges as smallpox, influenza, HIV/AIDS and herpes simplex.

Famous quote: "I'm sorry, but I just don't understand anything in biology unless I know what it looks like."[12]

Awards and honors

In 1990, he was awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University. His research was honored with the 1993 Cancer Research Institute William B. Coley Award. Harvard called Wiley "one of the most influential biologists of his generation." In 1999, Wiley and another Harvard professor, Jack L. Strominger, won the Japan Prize for their discoveries of how the immune system protects humans from infections.[13]

Personal life

Wiley owned a British racing green-colored Aston Martin.[12]

Don Wiley disappeared on November 15, 2001; his body was found in the Mississippi River a month later and his death was ruled to be an accident.[14][15][16]

See also


  1. ^ a b Dr. Don C. Wiley.
  2. ^ a b Ploegh, H. L. (2002). "Obituary: Don Craig Wiley (1944-2001)". Nature. 415 (6871): 492. doi:10.1038/415492a. PMID 11823846.
  3. ^ Eisen, Michael Bruce (1996). Structural Studies of Influenza A Virus Proteins (PhD thesis). Harvard University. OCLC 48938206.
  4. ^ Eisen, M. B.; Sabesan, S; Skehel, J. J.; Wiley, D. C. (1997). "Binding of the influenza a virus to cell-surface receptors: Structures of five hemagglutinin-sialyloligosaccharide complexes determined by X-ray crystallography". Virology. 232 (1): 19–31. doi:10.1006/viro.1997.8526. PMID 9185585.
  5. ^ Eisen, M. B.; Wiley, D. C.; Karplus, M; Hubbard, R. E. (1994). "HOOK: A program for finding novel molecular architectures that satisfy the chemical and steric requirements of a macromolecule binding site". Proteins: Structure, Function, and Genetics. 19 (3): 199–221. doi:10.1002/prot.340190305. PMID 7937734.
  6. ^ Strominger, J. L. (2002). "Don Craig Wiley (1944-2001): A reminiscence". Nature Immunology. 3 (2): 103–4. doi:10.1038/ni0202-103. PMID 11812980.
  7. ^ "Don C. Wiley (1944 - 2001) Memorial website of the Wiley laboratory". Harvard University. Archived from the original on 2014-08-10.
  8. ^ Don Craig Wiley's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  9. ^ Lechler, R. (2002). "Don Craig Wiley (1944-2001)". American Journal of Transplantation. 2 (5): 480. doi:10.1034/j.1600-6143.2002.20515.x.
  10. ^ Harvard Gazette: Biologist Don C. Wiley, 1944-2001 Archived 2011-05-22 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Sondra, Schlesinger (1999). "Oral history: Don Wiley". Viruses: From structure to biology. American Society for Virology. Retrieved 2013-11-15.
  12. ^ a b Ploegh, Hidde L. "Don C. Wiley: A Tribute". Harvard University Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. Archived from the original on 2017-03-28. Retrieved 2017-03-27.
  13. ^ "Authorities Search For Missing Harvard Virus Specialist". Fox News. 24 November 2001.
  14. ^ "Professor Don C. Wiley, 1944-2001". Office of news and public affairs. Harvard University. 15 January 2002. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  15. ^ "Harvard Biologist's Death Ruled Accidental". The New York Times. 15 January 2002. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  16. ^ "Obituary: Professor Don C. Wiley, 1944-2001". Office of news and public affairs. Harvard University. 21 December 2001. Archived from the original on 4 May 2009. Retrieved 15 November 2013.