It is with great sadness that I am writing to let you know that Andy Vinter passed away yesterday following a heart attack at the end of last week. He was a font of knowledge and a highly respected scientist. He had a long history of involvement with the MGMS: He was the founder member of the Society when it was set up in 1981 and served as the first Chairman and remained on the Committee for several years following. He had many decades of experience in the pharmaceutical industry working in various organizations over the years including Beechams, Ciba, Maybridge, Wellcome and SmithKline and French. He was a visiting Professor at University College London and was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Throughout Andy’s career, he maintained a strong interest in both molecular recognition and molecular similarity, with a particular focus on how insights could be applied in the drug design area. His interest in electrostatics led to the development of XEDs, an improved empirical approach to representing the molecular electrostatic potentials and how they influenced interactions such as pi stacking. This, in turn, led to the development of novel field based technologies, targeted at viewing molecules in the way that they would be seen by their protein, or other macromolecular, binding sites. With support from the Wellcome Trust, Cresset Biomolecular Discovery was established in 2001 as a vehicle for further development and commercialisation of the software and intellectual property. As scientific founder, and Chief Scientific Officer, he continued his active involvement in the company’s science and ongoing development.
Andy was an inspiration to many people inside and outside the field. Our thoughts are with his wife and children at this very sad time. He will be sorely missed by all of us.
—Prof. Philip Biggin, Department of Biochemistry, Oxford