Skip to main content

Terence Tao (1944–2020)


Dr. Terence C. Tao, 75, died on April 2, 2020 after a brief illness. Terry studied the biophysics and biochemistry of protein–protein interactions. Following his early seminal contribution into the area of time-dependent fluorescence anisotropy, he focused on studying muscle proteins while at Boston Biomedical Research Institute, initially in Boston and then in Watertown, Massachusetts. In his research, Terry was always eager to apply the latest technical innovations to push the boundaries of knowledge, and his ease of collaboration with colleagues in the Muscle Research Department was greatly valued. He applied Förster resonance energy transfer, chemical and photo-activated protein crosslinking and site-directed mutagenesis to map the topology of muscle regulatory complexes and to uncover the molecular mechanisms underlying their function. His work greatly contributed to our current understanding of the mechanism of muscle thin filament regulation by the troponin complex. Terry was a brave man and scientist after having suffered a serious accident in 1996. In spite of becoming a quadriplegic and wheelchair bound, Terry forged ahead with his work with vigor and enthusiasm. He will be fondly remembered by his colleagues and friends. A complete obituary of Terry can be viewed at this website:

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Zenon Grabarek.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Communicated by former colleagues from the Boston Biomedical Research Institute: Zenon Grabarek, Philip Graceffa, Paul C. Leavis, Sherwin S. Lehrer and C.-L. Albert Wang.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Grabarek, Z. Terence Tao (1944–2020). J Muscle Res Cell Motil 41, 189 (2020).

Download citation