It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Professor David E Minnikin following a brief illness.
David was an exceptional researcher in the chemistry of the cell envelope of mycobacteria and was a friend and mentor to many in the School of Biosciences and the Institute of Microbiology and Infection.
He completed a DPhil at the Dyson Perrins Laboratory, Oxford University, on the chemistry of the lipids of tubercle bacilli with Dr Nicholas Polgar. These and related studies were continued at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne from 1967 to 2002, leading to his appointment to a post of Professor of Microbial Chemistry. In 2002, his joint research group with Professor Del Besra relocated to the University of Birmingham.
The words of Del Besra capture the high esteem in which David Minnikin was held by many: ‘[David] was a true great in every sense of the word: an inspirational scientist and thoughtful person who guided my career for the nearly 40 years. He was truly a brilliant scientist who never got the credit he deserved for the many stellar achievements he made during his career. The TB cell wall model still holds and was based on chemical principals he proposed in 1982.’
Our thoughts are with David’s family and friends.