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EDITORIAL - A Tribute to Henry M. Fales pp. 141-142 $0.00
Authors:  Simone König
Abstract:
The mentor of my postdoctoral studies, Henry M. Fales died on Thursday, October 28, at age 83. It is with great sorrow that I accept this fact. Hank, as he encouraged us all to call him, has affected the lives of many scientists in a very positive way. My experience is only one example for all of us who went away as a better person after meeting him.
Hank allowed me to work in his lab at the National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, USA) as a volunteer after my maternity leave when my research proposal was not yet granted. He knew that I had taken a long break to take care of the children – not to mention the fact that I was not trained in his field of research, natural compounds and mass spectrometry, to begin with. Hank gave me a chance and I did my best not to disappoint him. We ended up working very well together since he liked to teach and I was eager to learn. It was Hank who formed the mass spectrometrist when I was unsure of my abilities. It was also Hank who showed me the fun in scientific work and most importantly, he demonstrated how to perform research without elbows. He gave his coworkers a feeling of comfort especially in times when experiments did not go well. It was remarkable to me, an outsider and foreigner, to note that everyone who had worked with Hank at one point radiated this social competence so that I had the great fortune of being accepted in a circle of extremely kind people who were moreover dedicated to highest-quality science. I found my way learning from Hank; it was his influence that I became a scientist.
Hank took away from me the fear that I might break an expensive instrument and encouraged me to go to the lab and try out new ideas. Introducing me to the liquid-junction ion source (Anal. Chem. 1998, 70:4463) he is mainly responsible for the fact that I now take apart any ion source and adapt it according to experimental need. In that he was the trigger, which eventually led to the discovery of ions from living fruit flies (Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 2010, 387:3311) and the ionization mechanism tentatively termed field-based ion generation (FBIG). This issue contains a last joint work never published: reference data of the fragmentation of single amino acids prepared by electrospray.
Hank was Honorary President of this journal supporting it from the start. He kindly shared some of his experiences with mass spectrometry in its second issue, published in 2007.
Sadness finds many expressions – mine was a Wikipedia entry for Henry M. Fales. The obituary by Michael Gottesmann, Deputy Director for Intramural Research of the NIH, describes Hank as “simply one of the best people in our intramural program. … It would be no exaggeration to claim he was one of the most collaborative and loved investigators on the NIH campus for the last 50 years.” 


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EDITORIAL - A Tribute to Henry M. Fales pp. 141-142