Don Craig Wiley

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Don Craig Wiley
Don Craig Wiley.jpg
Born October 21, 1944
Akron, Ohio, U.S.
Died November 2001 (aged 57)
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Alma mater Tufts University[1]
Harvard University
Spouse(s) Katrin Valgeirsdottir[2]
Scientific career
Doctoral students

Michael 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[edit]

Wiley was world-renowned for finding new ways to help the human immune system battle such viral scourges as smallpox, influenza, HIV/AIDS,[12] Ebola, and herpes simplex.[13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24]

Famous quote: "I'm sorry, but I just don't understand anything in biology unless I know what it looks like."[25]

Awards and honors[edit]

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.[26]

Personal life[edit]

Wiley owned a British racing green-colored Aston Martin.[25]

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.[27][28][29]


  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, a service provided by Elsevier. (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. ^ Weissenhorn, W; Dessen, A; Harrison, S. C.; Skehel, J. J.; Wiley, D. C. (1997). "Atomic structure of the ectodomain from HIV-1 gp41". Nature. 387 (6631): 426–30. doi:10.1038/387426a0. PMID 9163431. 
  13. ^ Steitz, T. A.; Wiley, D. C.; Lipscomb, W. N. (1967). "The structure of aspartate transcarbamylase, I. A molecular twofold axis in the complex with cytidine triphosphate". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 58 (5): 1859–61. doi:10.1073/pnas.58.5.1859. PMC 223875Freely accessible. PMID 5237487. 
  14. ^ Wiley, D. N. C.; Lipscomb, W. N. (1968). "Crystallographic Determination of Symmetry of Aspartate Transcarbamylase". Nature. 218 (5147): 1119–1121. doi:10.1038/2181119a0. PMID 5656633. 
  15. ^ Warren, S. G.; Edwards, B. F.; Evans, D. R.; Wiley, D. C.; Lipscomb, W. N. (1973). "Aspartate transcarbamoylase from Escherichia coli: Electron density at 5.5 a resolution". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 70 (4): 1117–21. doi:10.1073/pnas.70.4.1117. PMC 433438Freely accessible. PMID 4577792. 
  16. ^ Honzatko, R. B.; Crawford, J. L.; Monaco, H. L.; Ladner, J. E.; Ewards, B. F.; Evans, D. R.; Warren, S. G.; Wiley, D. C.; Ladner, R. C.; Lipscomb, W. N. (1982). "Crystal and molecular structures of native and CTP-liganded aspartate carbamoyltransferase from Escherichia coli". Journal of Molecular Biology. 160 (2): 219–263. doi:10.1016/0022-2836(82)90175-9. PMID 6757446. 
  17. ^ Edwards, B. F.; Evans, D. R.; Warren, S. G.; Monaco, H. L.; Landfear, S. M.; Eisele, G; Crawford, J. L.; Wiley, D. C.; Lipscomb, W. N. (1974). "Complex of aspartate carbamoyltransferase from Escherichia coli with its allosteric inhibitor, cytidine triphosphate: Electron density at 5.9-angstroms resolution". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 71 (11): 4437–41. doi:10.1073/pnas.71.11.4437. PMC 433901Freely accessible. PMID 4612518. 
  18. ^ Lipscomb, W. N.; Evans, D. R.; Edwards, B. F.; Warren, S. G.; Pastra-Landis, S; Wiley, D. C. (1974). "Three-dimensional structures at 5.5 a resolution and regulatory processes in aspartate transcarbamylase from E. Coli". Journal of Supramolecular Structure. 2 (2–4): 82–98. doi:10.1002/jss.400020203. PMID 4612257. 
  19. ^ Wiley, D. C.; Evans, D. R.; Warren, S. G.; McMurray, C. H.; Edwards, B. F. P.; Franks, W. A.; Lipscomb, W. N. (1972). "The 5.5 a Resolution Structure of the Regulatory Enzyme, Aspartate Transcarbamylase". Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology. 36: 285–290. doi:10.1101/SQB.1972.036.01.038. PMID 4508141. 
  20. ^ Evans, D. R.; Warren, S. G.; Edwards, B. F.; McMurray, C. H.; Bethge, P. H.; Wiley, D. C.; Lipscomb, W. N. (1973). "Aqueous central cavity in aspartate transcarbamylase from Escherichia coli". Science. 179 (4074): 683–5. doi:10.1126/science.179.4074.683. PMID 4567940. 
  21. ^ Bjorkman, P. J.; Saper, M. A.; Samraoui, B; Bennett, W. S.; Strominger, J. L.; Wiley, D. C. (1987). "Structure of the human class I histocompatibility antigen, HLA-A2". Nature. 329 (6139): 506–12. doi:10.1038/329506a0. PMID 3309677. 
  22. ^ Brown, J. H.; Jardetzky, T. S.; Gorga, J. C.; Stern, L. J.; Urban, R. G.; Strominger, J. L.; Wiley, D. C. (1993). "Three-dimensional structure of the human class II histocompatibility antigen HLA-DR1". Nature. 364 (6432): 33–9. doi:10.1038/364033a0. PMID 8316295. 
  23. ^ Wilson, I. A.; Skehel, J. J.; Wiley, D. C. (1981). "Structure of the haemagglutinin membrane glycoprotein of influenza virus at 3 Å resolution". Nature. 289 (5796): 366–373. doi:10.1038/289366a0. PMID 7464906. 
  24. ^ Skehel, J. J.; Wiley, D. C. (2000). "Receptor Binding and Membrane Fusion in virus entry: The Influenza Hemagglutinin". Annual Review of Biochemistry. 69: 531–569. doi:10.1146/annurev.biochem.69.1.531. PMID 10966468. 
  25. ^ a b Ploegh, Hidde L. "Don C. Wiley: A Tribute". Harvard University Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. 
  26. ^ "Authorities Search For Missing Harvard Virus Specialist". Fox News. 24 November 2001. 
  27. ^ "Professor Don C. Wiley, 1944-2001". Office of news and public affairs. Harvard University. 15 January 2002. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  28. ^ "Harvard Biologist's Death Ruled Accidental". The New York Times. 15 January 2002. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  29. ^ "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.