In Remembrance of Bill Loomis (1940-2016)

Bill at Dicty Meetings 1977 - 2014

We are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear colleague Bill Loomis but celebrate his life achievements in the Dicty field. We remember Bill a Dicty pioneer, an active contributor to dictyBase, and a good friend. We will greatly miss him.
[dictyBase, 7. July 2016]

Community Messages, July 2016

Bill's sudden death caused many people to voice their thoughts in ListServ messages after the initial announcement by Gadi Shaulsky and Adam Kuspa on July. 1st, 2016:

Dear friends,

We are sad to inform you that our mentor, colleague and friend Bill Loomis passed away yesterday, June 30. Bill started his scientific journey with Dicty in the 1960’s and remained active in the field until his death. He was looking forward to joining all of us in Tucson at the end of the month. Bill was a passionate and erudite scientist, his enthusiasm and love of knowledge were infectious and his devotion to rigorous biological research and education was unwavering. To us, Bill was a teacher, a mentor, a friend and a father figure.
We will miss him dearly.

Gadi and Adam

Read more

Message from Rick Firtel and Obituary from Chair

Rick Firtel sent this message and attached the obituary from the Chair of the section.

Dear Colleagues-

Below is a formal announcement of Bill’s passing from our department and my comments.

Many of us knew Bill for many years. I first met Bill when I was a graduate student at Caltech, I think in the winter/spring of 1969. Bill came to Caltech to give a departmental seminar. I heard his talk and we had a one-on-one and it literally changed my life. There was no one working on Dicty at Caltech but in the old days at Caltech, grad students had significantly flexibility in developing their own thesis project. I had recently changed advisors and was wandering through a number of potential projects when Bill came to talk. I was so stoked by Bill’s talk, what he was doing, and possibilities of the system that I literally changed thesis projects. I went down to UCSD a week or two later for a day to pick up techniques (somewhat limited in those days) and with an great enthusiasm Bill welcomed me into the fold. He was always supported, whether we agreed or not, and always a great proponent of science.

Bill shared both ideas and data. He was a voracious sponge for new science and always willing to discuss ideas, sometimes stubbornly
😀, but always with a passion for the truth. During the past decade, Bill extended his long-time interest in modeling Dicty development and recently chemotaxis, with a collaboration with Wouter-Jan Rappel and Herbie Levine in Physics and myself. Bill took to the project like a duck to water and helped developed some exciting concepts that brought modern modeling to chemotaxis and wave patterns, some of this work to be published. He was an exceptional faculty member and a mentor to many as we’ve all seen in the e-mail testimonials. The initial email from Gadi and Adam says it all. His contributions to the field were tremendous and will never be forgotten.

Bill's obituary by Steve Briggs, Chair of our Section, is below.


Bill's Memoirs

Fortunately Bill wrote his memoirs My Life with Dicty in time.

Gene Summary Contributions

Writing gene summaries for genes with multiple papers are very time consuming, and Bill offered to help. For the past year, he sent us about 100 gene summaries, of which we integrated about 30 into dictybase so far. It saddens us that Bill cannot see his remaining summaries we will add, as he was eager to see them annotated. Here are a few examples of genes with summaries (near the bottom ) on which we colaborated:

If you would like to contribute to this commemorative page, send an email to dictyBase.
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