We are greatly saddened to learn of the death of our distinguished colleague, Dr Jonathan Widom, who was Principle Investigator of Northwestern University Physical Sciences-Oncology Center. Jon was a brilliant and inspiring researcher and will be deeply missed by the medical and scientific community. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.
Jonathan Widom was born, in Ithaca, NY, 1955. He received his B.A. in Chemistry from Cornell University in 1977, and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry (with Professor Robert L. Baldwin) from Stanford University in 1982. He was a Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow with Sir Aaron Klug at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England, from 1983–1985. In 1985 he joined the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as Assistant Professor of Physical Chemistry, with appointments in the Departments of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biophysics, and the Beckman Institute. In 1991, he moved to Northwestern University, where he was a William Deering Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology (BMBCB) and the Department of Chemistry. At Northwestern University, he has served as Director of the Molecular Biophysics Training Program, Director of the Center for Structural Biology, Chairman of the BMBCB Department (two terms), and was the founding Director of the Keck Biophysics Facility. He has been a Member of the High Table at King’s College, Cambridge, a Searle Scholar, a Presidential Young Investigator, and a Visiting Professor at Rockefeller University and at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. His research investigated the biophysical chemistry of DNA and protein-DNA complexes, with a focus in the area of chromosome structure and gene regulation. His work on the genomic code for nucleosome positioning has attracted special attention, with feature stories in The New York Times and many scientific journals.