In Memoriam - Jack Leunissen
21 May 2012
Jack A. M. Leunissen
August 1st, 1954 - May 14th, 2012
We will miss Jack Leunissen as one of the pioneers of bioinformatics in the Netherlands. He could speak with enthusiasm about the early days of bioinformatics when he had to produce punch cards in order to compare protein sequences. As a biochemist with an interest in computers, he was in fact one of the first Dutch bioinformaticians.
Jack Leunissen was full professor of Bioinformatics and head of the Laboratory of Bioinformatics at Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR), the Netherlands. He studied chemistry at Nijmegen University, and had a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the same university. In 1986 he founded and managed the bioinformatics and genomics section of the Dutch National Centre for Bioinformatics and Cheminformatics, CAOS/CAMM Centre. In 2000 he was also appointed senior lecturer in Bioinformatics at the Centre for Molecular and Biomolecular Informatics (CMBI) at Nijmegen University. Towards the end of 2002 he accepted the position of chair in Bioinformatics at WUR.
Jack also had an international track record in bioinformatics research and education. He was one of the founders of EMBnet, the world spanning network of national and specialist bioinformatics centres. Between 1999 and 2003 he was chairman of this international network.
Interested in the practical application of bioinformatics, Jack was also founder and director of the Dutch bioinformatics company Dalicon B.V.
Jack and NBIC
Jack has been involved in the Netherlands Bioinformatics Centre (NBIC) from the start, as project and theme leader, member of the National Advisory Committee, Management Team and NBIC Faculty. This year we already had to miss him at our yearly conference. At such occasions, Jack was at his best, as he could combine science with social activities. He was able to create a lively atmosphere for researchers to exchange ideas, about science and life.
We bring our sincere condolences to his wife and children: Ine, Jan, Julie & Bas.