[3dem] Stephen Fuller

Stoilova-McPhie, Svetla svmcphie at utmb.edu
Wed Sep 3 08:11:26 PDT 2014

I first met Steve Fuller in 1994 on the 3D-EM course in Heidelberg, as many on this list. I did visit him two years later on a short term EMBO fellowship to work with the CM200-FEG, than a wonderful new technology now we know is the essentials in structural Cryo-EM (200kV-FEG). Brent was than in charge of the microscopes.
I opted to join Steve as a postdoc in Oxford in March 2008, as I did want to learn more from the source.  We dreamed of pushing further the limits of Cryo-EM. I still have this dream and owe it vastly to Steve and his generation. 
Unfortunately he was hospitalized in May 2008 never to recover fully.
It is a great loss, great sadness and my heart goes to his family and friends.

Svetla Stoilova-McPhie, PhD
Assistant Professor,
Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology
Scientist, Sealy Centre for Structural Biology
and Molecular Biophysics
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
301 University Boulevard, Galveston, Texas 77555-0620
Lab: (+1) 409-747-2159
Cell: (+1) 979-319-1349
Fax: (1+) 409-747-2200
Email: svmcphie at utmb.edu
From: 3dem-bounces at ncmir.ucsd.edu [3dem-bounces at ncmir.ucsd.edu] on behalf of Henning Stahlberg [henning.stahlberg at unibas.ch]
Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2014 9:17 AM
To: 3dem at ncmir.ucsd.edu
Subject: Re: [3dem] Stephen Fuller


Steve Fuller battled with Multiple Sclerosis for the last years. Many of us have seen him at conferences in his motorized wheel chair in the last years.
However, before that, he was working at the EMBL in Heidelberg where he was driving a red Porsche, often went jogging in the beautiful forests around Heidelberg, and was the fastest VI keyboard typist I have every seen.
I remember him chairing a session on a conference in UK some many years ago. Steve was already using a cane to stand or walk.  At one point, a young and shy speaker had given a talk in Steve's session, after which one senior person from the audience started asking very aggressive and insulting questions at a destructive level that this speaker wasn't able to cope with. For each of these questions, Steve intervened by saying "...Let me rephrase that question: What I think this person means to ask, is if ....", and he reduced the question to the scientific content and took all the mean allegations out of the questions.   This person from the audience had no chance of hurting that speaker, with Steve shielding the speaker so effectively.

Steve Fuller was a great person.


Henning Stahlberg, PhD
Prof. for Structural Biology, C-CINA, Biozentrum, University Basel
Mattenstrasse 26 | D-BSSE | WRO-1058 | CH-4058 Basel | Switzerland
http://c-cina.org | Tel. +41-61-387 32 62

On 1 Sep 2014, at 11:07, John Briggs <briggs at embl.de> wrote:

> We are sad to inform the community that Stephen Fuller died last week.
> Stephen was a key figure in the development and early application of
> cryo-em and computational image processing methods, especially to
> understand viruses. He worked at the MRC-LMB in Cambridge before
> spending almost 20 years at the EMBL in Heidelberg, where he headed the
> Structural Biology and Biocomputing Programme along with Dietrich Suck.
> Subsequently he became Professor of Macromolecular Structure and
> Assembly at Oxford University before his career was cut short by
> illness. His work on Semliki Forest Virus represented a major advance in
> the development and use of icosahedral reconstruction methods to
> determine virus protein structure from cryo-EM images. Among his other
> major contributions are a series of important papers on retroviral
> structure and assembly, an early study of centriole structure, and a
> tomography study of the immune synapse. A few examples of his papers are
> noted below. He was awarded the Ruska prize in 2000, gave the Ernst Abbe
> lecture in 2002, and was elected an EMBO member in 2008.
> In addition to his research contributions, Stephen¹s enormous
> enthusiasm for training and helping people to use cellular and molecular
> electron microscopy have made a major contribution to the development of
> the whole field of structural biology. He was a major driving force for
> the long and successful programme of EMBO courses on cryo EM which have
> trained many of the people in the field, and spawned similar courses
> worldwide, greatly helping in the development of the subject. He was
> instrumental in developing the EMDB, and in setting up support for
> visitors to do cryo EM work at EMBL. He was an unmissable figure at
> conferences, free (and direct!) with his ideas. Stephen's colleagues and
> friends knew him as an inspiring mentor and an extraordinarily kind and
> generous person.
> John Briggs, Sarah Butcher and Helen Saibil
> A few examples of his papers:
> - Image-reconstruction reveals the complex molecular-organisation of
> adenovirus. Stewart et al., Cell 1991
> - The core of the mammalian centriole contains gamma-tubulin. Fuller et
> al., Curr. Biol. 1995
> - Low pH induces swivelling of the glycoprotein heterodimers in the
> Semliki-forest-virus spike complex. Fuller et al., Cell 1995
> - Cryo-electron microscopy reveals ordered domains in the immature
> HIV-1 particle. Fuller et al., Curr. Biol. 1997
> - Cryo-electron microscopy reveals the functional organization of an
> enveloped virus, Semliki Forest virus. Mancini et al., Mol. Cell 2000
> - Structural organization of authentic, mature HIV-1 virions and cores.
> Briggs et al., EMBO J. 2003
> - Centrosome polarization delivers secretory granules to the
> immunological synapse. Stinchcombe et al., Nature 2006
> briggs at embl.de
> Tel. +49 6221 387 8482
> Dr. John Briggs
> European Molecular Biology Laboratory
> Meyerhofstr. 1
> 69117 Heidelberg
> Germany
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