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In memoriam: RAG de Graaff

On November 16 2016 Dr. Rudolf A.G. de Graaff passed away at the age of 75.

Dr. de Graaff was best known amongst his colleagues and co-workers as RAG.  Apart from a few years at York RAG spent his whole scientific career at the Leiden Institute of Chemistry and taught many students, post-docs and staff members the fine details of X-ray and electron diffraction. After his PhD entitled “Some aspects of X-ray Crystallography Computational problems and conformational interpretation of steroid structures” in 1974 with prof. C. Romers, he published over 100 scientific papers.

RAG advised many scientists and  students on the solving of numerous structures ranging from steroids to complete proteins during his career. In his characteristic patient style, he made many suggestions and contributions to scientific work. Since 2004, his contribution to “Direct Methods Computations” applied to protein structures has been incorporated in the CCP4 suite for diffraction data analysis with his program “CRUNCH2”.

Apart from being a classic scientist he was a sportsman in his own way. He played chess at a high level and participated in the Hoogovens chess tournament (now the TATA Steel Chess Tournament) many times and played bridge with his co-workers. After his farewell party in 2012, we in the laboratory missed his regular presence, which is now final.

RAG will be remembered not only as a passionate scientist, but also a great person with a wicked sense of humor and a real friend who was always on your side.

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