Dr. Saeed Khan retires July 1, 2023

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Dr. Saeed Khan

After 37 years of service to the department, we bid farewell to MIC X-Ray Diffraction Staff Dr. Saeed Khan, who retired on July 1, 2023.

Senior dean of the UCLA College Division of Physical Sciences and distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry Miguel García-Garibay, said of Saeed: “I arrived to UCLA in the early 1990s when X-ray diffraction had become highly efficient and widely accessible thanks to brilliant staff scientists like Saeed Khan. Saeed has been an institution in our department for almost four decades. He has overseen and implemented impressive technological advances in the X-ray lab, provided faculty and students with superior data and constant advice, and more than anything he has been a great colleague, collaborator, and friend. I wish Saeed all the best as he moves on to new ventures and I thank him for his dedication to our department and to UCLA.”

Dr. Saeed Khan (left) was presented with a crystal award at a special lunch with Dr. Robert Taylor, who also retired on July 1st, Professor Chuck Strouse, Dr. Jane Strouse and Dr. Ignacio Martini (not pictured).

After finishing his graduate studies at Karachi University, Saeed received his M.Sc. with distinction from Lakehead University at Canada and his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (USC) under Professor Robert Bau, a UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry alumnus. Subsequently, he pursued further studies at USC as a postdoctoral researcher under Bau for one more year. In 1986, he was hired by the UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry to provide X-ray crystallographic services to members of the department and the greater UCLA community. Upon Professor Chuck Strouse’s retirement, Saeed continued as the departmental crystallographer and was subsequently a member of the UCLA Molecular Instrumentation Center (MIC).

During Saeed’s time at UCLA, spanning 37 years, he solved more than two thousand X-ray crystal structures for many different research groups in the department and across UCLA. He also facilitated a number of industrial and international collaborators. In addition to solving crystal structures, he has maintained the department’s single crystal and powder diffractometers and taught interested researchers the art of X-ray crystallography.

In 2008, Saeed was one of the recipients of Herbert Newby McCoy award from the department. He also received number of staff achievement awards (2005-2006-2007) and Incentive Awards (1997,1998, 2000) from the department. He is an active member of American Crystallographic Association, and has served as president elect (2009) and president (2010) of the special interest group, Service Crystallography, within the organization.

Saeed is an author or co-author of more than 200 scientific publications, the vast majority of which is in collaboration with our faculty. Some of his work was a part of several high-profile research papers.

Besides science, Saeed is an avid Lakers fan and routinely attends their games. Now that he is retiring, he plans to travel the world. Best of retirement to you, Saeed!

Article by Dr. Ignacio Martini, MIC Director, and Materials Instrumentation Scientist, martini@chem.ucla.edu