New databases and bioinformatic tools provide the field of glycomics with a solid basis for dynamic development in molecular biology and medicine. Willi von der Lieth, a researcher from Heidelberg, was an important pioneer of glyco-bioinformatics. His sudden death is a great loss for this new scientific field.
He had no interest in habilitating and becoming a professor, but always supported the academic career of his colleagues. His own research focused mainly on the field of clinical chemistry and medicine, in particular on cancer research. On the 16th November 2007, von der Lieth died of the disease he had investigated and fought against with unflagging energy and dedication over many decades. Rahul Raman, CFG Bioinformatic Core Director at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said in the obituary published by EuroCarbDB: “Willi has inspired the evolution of the field of glyco-bioinformatics. He was a pioneering leader in the task of developing standardized glycan databases and bioinformatics tools for use in laboratories around the world. We will miss him tremendously.”