Manuel Francisco Morales died on November 12, 2009. He was born in San Pedro, Sula, Honduras, on July 23, 1919. As a child he accompanied his parents, Manuel and Saturna Morales, to live in California, where he received secondary and college education, AB, University of California, Berkeley. He received his graduate training at Harvard University in Mathematics/Physics and at the University of California, Berkeley, in Physiology/Biophysics. During World War II, he served as a line officer on the USS Washington and as staff officer in the US Naval Reserve. Following honorable discharge from the Navy, he was a faculty member at the University of Chicago, the Naval Medical Research Institute, the Dartmouth Medical School, and the University of California, San Francisco. His abiding interest was the molecular basis of muscle contraction. His first significant scientific breakthrough came in 1956 when, together with R. Podolsky he determined the heat of hydrolysis of ATP. He also showed, together with T.L. Hill, that the free energy of ATP hydrolysis originated in the coulombic repulsion between the γ and α and β phosphates. Together with a long-time collaborator, J. Botts, he was able to describe the kinetic behavior of enzymecatalyzed systems. He was the first to apply G. Weber’s orientational fluorescence probe to study muscle, and together with collaborators such as T. Nihei, R.A. Mendelson, J. Botts, C. Dos Remedios, and T.P. Burghardt proposed that rotation of myosin crossbridges involves the participation of myosin S1 and actin. He used FRET to construct a three-dimensional map of myosin, which predicted key aspects of the crystal structure. Following retirement, he continued in research for many years together with H. Ohnishi, as a Research Professor at the University of the Pacific. Morales was the eighth Career Investigator of the American Heart Association. He was also a President of the Biophysical Society, the Founding Editor of the Annual Review of Biophysics, and a Fogarty Scholar-in-Residence at the US National Institutes of Health. Morales was a member of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), received the Order of the Rising Sun (Japan), and held an honorary doctorate from the University of the Pacific.
—Submitted by Julian Borejdo
January 2010 Table of Contents