… contributed by David Andreu
It is our sad duty to report the untimely passing of our dear colleague Enrique Pérez-Payá, CSIC research professor and group leader at the Prince Felipe Research Center (CIPF), in Valencia, Spain, on May 28.
Enrique was an active contributor to peptide and protein science since the days of his PhD work on the membrane interactions of melittin, substance P and other peptides. During his postdoc at the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies (1993-95) he acquired expertise in combinatorial peptide libraries, which became a key tool of his subsequent research, first at the University of Valencia (1996-2002), later on at the CIPF.
His laboratory successfully used peptide and peptoid libraries for blocking therapeutically significant protein-protein interactions in areas such as apoptosis, antimicrobials (peptides and LPS inhibitors), antitumorals, etc. Enrique authored over 120 papers on these and related areas, and filed over 20 patents for peptide-based biomedical products, several of them licensed to Spanish pharma or biotech companies. His scientific legacy also includes the training of 10 PhD students over the 2001-2012 period, as well as the enthusiastic organization of scientific meetings, including the 7th Iberian Peptide Meeting (2000), a proteomics satellite meeting at the XXIV Congress of the Spanish Biochemical Society, or the VI European Symposium of the Protein Society. His laboratory was also an active participant at many recent European Peptide Symposia, some of which also had Enrique as speaker. Enrique’s departure creates a hard-to-fill void in a Spanish scientific scene that, in trying times like the present, can ill afford losing talented people like him.
He will be particularly missed by those in the peptide-protein chemistry community who admired his achievements and enjoyed his friendly, low-key style and bonhomie.
Enrique is survived by his wife Susa and his children Carla, Enric and Albert.