In Memoriam Detlef Schröder

Dr. Detlef Schröder, a senior scientist at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences, died suddenly and unexpectedly on August 22, 2012 at the age of 49. His untimely death is a great loss for the Czech and worldwide scientific community, losing an exceptionally talented scientist and scholar in the area of physical organic chemistry and mass spectrometry.

Detlef SchröderDetlef was born in Wilster, Germany. He received his PhD in chemistry from Technische Universität Berlin with Professor Helmut Schwarz. After a long and successful career in Berlin, he moved to Prague in 2006 where he achieved the position of Distinguished Chair, the most prestigious appointment at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry. Recently, he was appointed Editor of International Journal of Mass Spectrometry published by Elsevier.

Detlef’s research interests, documented by hundreds of papers in top journals, were in fundamental aspects of mass spectrometry. In the course of his stay at TU Berlin, he succeeded in generating many highly reactive transient intermediates of organic, inorganic, and organometallic reactions. His chapter on charge reversal of gas-phase ions in the Encyclopedia of Mass Spectrometry is a gem. He was coauthor of the concept of two-state reactivity of gas-phase ions that explained dissociations of transition metal-containing ions by switching between electronic states of different spin multiplicity. In the course of the six years he spent in Prague, he worked on applications of ion mobility and action spectroscopy to structure elucidation of gas-phase ions.

Those of us who had the privilege to know Detlef appreciated not only his profound knowledge of mass spectrometry and organic chemistry, but also his good natured personality and willingness to help others. In a way, his coming to Prague and enthusiastic embrace of the Czech language was a harbinger of the return of the Czech society to the family of west European nations. His untimely passing is a hard blow not only to his family, but also to the Czech scientific community and Czech Society for Mass Spectrometry. He will be remembered by many.

František Tureček
University of Washington

The Czech Society for Mass Spectrometry is greatly indebted to Detlef Schröder for everything he has done in the last few years for mass spectrometry in our country. He was a great colleague and a real gentleman. Many of his actions during his tenure in Prague (2006-2012) have helped to improve the Czech academic world.

Danke sehr, Detlef! Unsere Gedanken sind bei Dir!

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