John Thomas Finch. 28 February 1930-5 December 2017

John Finch was a gifted experimentalist who used X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy to elucidate the structures of important biological assemblies, particularly viruses and chromatin. His early work on crystals of viruses was important in establishing their symmetry, and later with the electron microscope he mapped out the molecular structure of many virus coats. His observations on negatively stained preparations demonstrated that images of particles prepared in this way represented projections of fully stained embedded particles, not merely one-sided footprints. This was very relevant to the development of methods for making three-dimensional maps of specimens from electron micrographs. John’s Royal Society Biographical Memoir, written by Tony Crowther and Ken Holmes, has recently been published. More…