This is a public platform to share your condolences with Professor Nongjian Tao’s family.

If you have thoughts, anecdotes or reminiscences about him please email your message to Fang.Chen.2@asu.edu and your message will be posted here shortly. For private messages, you may write to fang.chen.2@asu.edu for further forwarding to Prof. Tao’s family.

From NanoXu: To NJ, my dearest friend and PhD advisor: Though we are separated by death, we are always together by love. Miss you so much! To NJ’s family: May my condolences bring you comfort and may my prayers ease the pain of this loss.

From Dan Meyer: God Bless to Tao’s family

From Joshua Hihath: My condolences to NJ’s family, and to the community he’s developed. He will be missed by all

From Louie: My deepest Condolences to Shuang & Family

From Sepideh Afsari: My condolences to NJ’s family.

From Amlendu: Dr. Tao will continue to live through his work and the positive influence he has had on so many people. Rest in Peace Dr. Tao. Love you and will miss you. -Amlendu and Shamita

From Ryan Porter: My deepest condolences, Dr. Tao was an extremely kind man and will be greatly missed.

From Xiaonan Shan: 单晓楠:十年师恩 点滴殷切犹在耳;一生辛勤 承前启后在人间

From Fenni Zhang: 师恩永志心间!

From WenbinLiang: 陶与我们同在,forever!!

From BO: Goodbye, Dr. TAO! We will miss you!

From Yixian Wang: Thank you Dr. Tao. Goodbye, Dr. Tao.

From Chenzhong Li: 七七四十九日內正式投生,早日轮回

From Huixin He: Dr. Tao, will miss you forever!

From BingWei and ZQ: Our deepest condolence to NJ. We still remember his several times visit to Xiamen, promoting collaboration. We will miss him so much.

From G6: Tao, I miss you so much for so many wonderful moments together, Arizona, Boston, Hangzhou, Hefei, your home, my home.

From Hui Wang: 再见,老师。爱你,老师。

From Yueqi Li: We love you Dr Tao.

From Di Wang : We will always remember you!

Tony Dickherber (NIH)

I only just heard that NJ has tragically and unexpectedly passed away. My most heartfelt condolences for this terrible loss. I was quite fond of NJ and can’t quite grasp that I won’t see him again. His passing is clearly an enormous loss to science, and I can’t imagine the impact on the ASU community. The world is a little less bright today knowing we no longer have his leadership and vision.

Jiandi Zhang (Louisiana State University)

As a friend and a colleague at FIU, I was so shocked by learning that Nongjian left us. I really like to know more details. He was a such a humble person and nice colleague, friend of mine. I pray for him, for his family.

李景虹(清华大学)

我一直与陶老师保持联系!非常突然!非常悲痛!深深缅怀和永远怀念我的好兄长-农建兄!!

农建兄一路走好!天堂安息!那里没有痛苦!我永远怀念您!

Wei Wang (Nanjing University)

It was a shocking and grieving moment to hear this news a few days ago. Dr. Tao is a great person who taught me a lot from not only professional but also moral aspects. I feel terribly sorry for not being able to stand in person with Dr. Tao’s family during this difficult moment.

Raphael Roesch (Germany)

I will remember Dr. Tao as an outstanding mentor and brilliant scientist. I greatly enjoyed my postdoctoral research experience at ASU and I am very grateful to Dr. Tao for providing me with the unique opportunity to work in his group. I also appreciate his kindness to invite me for lunch whenever I visited the group afterwards.

陈宇衡(National Instruments

很震惊听到陶老师突然离开的消息。痛惜正当盛年的英才就这样撒手他心爱的科研事业。与陶老师短短相处的一年,受益良多。愿陶老师一路好走,他家人节哀。谨在此向西遥望,以寄哀思。

Wenrong Yang (Deakin University)

I am deeply saddened by the news of Dr. Tao. Dr Tao is a nice person and an outstanding scientist I ever met. I will reserve a quiet moment to remember him.

晴天一个霹雳,我嚎啕大哭!

特殊时期,居家办公。正午时分,我坐在电脑前,慌乱的回复着此起彼伏的工作信息。师兄的电话打进来,告诉了我一个噩耗,我顿时呆住,再也无心他事。与您相识近十年的一幅幅画面,在脑海中断断续续的来回播放。

初识您,是在2011年的全国电化学会议上。那年的会议由重庆大学主办,您作为特邀嘉宾做大会主题报告,我负责接待您。十年前,Science、Nature级别的成果在国内还是凤毛麟角。当时,我只是一个研究生新生,您报告的内容是完全不懂的。可是看到嘉宾背景介绍里,您的Selected Publications上一连串的Science以及Nature开头的期刊论文时,震惊的无与伦比。还有会议进行时,主显示屏的数据连接线无法识别您的MAC电脑,您也一直安慰我们不要着急,主动将您许多未发表的数据拷贝到公用电脑,才得以使会议顺利进行。两天会议很快结束,告别时,您对我说,如果以后想出国学习,可以联系您。从此,彻底改变了我的一生。

大约过了半年,我拿到国家留学基金委博士生联合培养的资助计划,给您发了一封邮件,试探性的问能否去您实验室,很快就收到了您的肯定回复,这让我喜出望外。更惊讶的是,当收到正式Offer Letter时,才发现您在留学基金委的资助之上,又额外从课题经费里每个月支出一笔劳务费给我作为生活费。这在任何联合培养项目的学生中,是极其罕见的。也让我博士毕业工作数年之后,净收入还未达到当时的水平。

在美国求学的时候,四五十人的实验室就像一个大家庭,每年八九月份都会在您家里开Party。并且,您永远都是实验室最勤奋,到的最早的那个人,却从未见您因为课题进度去Push我们,一点也没有传说中华人科学家的“压榨”。或许也是这种勤奋,给您留下了健康隐患。如果时间可以倒流,多希望您能多休息休息。至于我的具体研究工作,虽是师兄在指导,但每周的组会还是要向您汇报。您一直强调并锻炼我们“big picture”的思维能力和 “elevator talk”的讲述能力,我学艺不精,尚未学到皮毛,但耳濡目染,已获益终生。

后来,我回国答辩,准备找工作,您建议我毕业后留在实验室继续科研工作。可惜当时太幼稚,总想着要出去看看,一直在看工业界的机会。毕业前夕,我回重庆办离校手续,赶上在第三军医大学工作的师兄邀请您去重庆做报告。当时,您见我去工业界的心意已定,也就没有继续规劝。只是在吃饭的时候,对师兄和我聊了不少其他师兄师姐科研、工作以及生活的情况,告诉我们,无论从事什么工作,都要做一个“decent person”。从此之后,“decent”这个词就刻在我的脑海里。

毕业之后,我一直在显微镜行业工作,和一些师兄师姐也保持着交流,偶尔碰到您回国,还能聚一下。最后一次相聚,是您途径上海,参加分析测试学术年会。您当时刚到国内没几天,从南京过来,12点到上海,转乘下午三点多的高铁去北京。我去接您,结果迟到了一小会儿,12点一刻在出站口见到您,第一感觉就是您的皱纹深了,白头发也多了。当时就想对您说,年纪大了,多注意休息,不要一直这么奔波,却一直未敢说出口。在交大工作的师兄过来后,我们三人就在火车站旁边找了一个小饭馆,吃饭时看到您和师兄谈论实验室最新的研究进展,已经可以看到单个蛋白质分子结合的动力学时那个神采奕奕的样子,又是那么年轻,觉得是我多虑啦。下午一点半,我因为工作原因离开时,您们还在谈论表面化学修饰减弱非特异性吸附的问题,并调侃我已经把实验室里学到的知识全还给了您。如果我知道那是见您的最后一面,我一定推掉所有工作,静下心来,再次聆听您的教诲。

春节前夕,我回南京大学看望指导我博士论文的师兄。师兄说,等到您60岁的时候,我们在国内的同门有些人去美国可能没那么方便,到时要找一个您回国的日子,把在国内的同门聚起来给您庆贺一下。我们都还在憧憬着,结果没想到,这一切成了奢望。

犹记得您说过您最想和费曼一起共进晚餐。您又何尝不是我们的“费曼”呢。每次与您一起吃饭的时候,都能学到不少做学问、做人的知识与道理。

师兄告诉我,您是美国当地时间“今天”中午1点在学校停车场突然去世。美国的“今天”可是周日啊,您又加班去了嘛?

您的一生著作等身、育人无数而又勤奋忙碌,您解决了那么多科学问题,创造了那么多学生的一生,可还未来得及休息,就戛然而止。

愿您在天堂能够好好休息!

美国时间2020/3/15恩师陶农建先生逝世于美国亚利桑那州,闻之悲痛不已,作此文以悼之。恩师教化之恩,此生不忘。望恩师安息!

— 弟子林亮跪拜!