November 28, 2014

Dr. Martin Gibbs

Dr. Martin Gibbs, professor of biology and Department Chair at Brandeis University, and world-renown bio-chemist, died peacefully Monday, July 24, 2006, at his home surrounded by his family after succumbing to cancer. He was the husband of the late S. Karen (Kvale) Gibbs.

His professorship was the last in an impressive and prestigious career in plant physiology, which included positions at Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Department of Biochemistry at Cornell University.

Born on Armistice Day, 1922, in Philadelphia, Dr. Gibbs was a 1940 graduate of Central High School. His undergraduate degree was awarded from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science in 1943, followed by a teaching fellowship and doctorate at the University of Illinois-Urbana.

A bio-chemist who was a pioneer and became editor of “Plant Physiology” in 1962, he received acknowledgement around the world for his scientific contributions in the field of carbon metabolism, attracting scientists from many countries to join his staff.

During his career Dr. Gibbs was consulted and affiliated with the National Institutes of Health; National Science Foundation; Cosmos Club; Marine Biological Laboratory-Woods Hole; RESA lecturer; NATO consultant; Council International Exchange of Scholars; Chair of Advisory Committee for Selection of Fulbright Scholars for Eastern Europe; adjunct professor Botanical Institute, University Munster, Federal Republic of Germany; adjunct professor Botany Department, University of California, Riverside.

His memberships include the National Academy of Sciences; American Association of University Professors; American Society Plant Physiologists; Russian Society Plant Physiologists, Honorary Life Member; American Academy Arts and Sciences; American Society Biochemist Molecular Biology; Canadian Society Plant Physiologists, Honorary Life Member; Academy of Sciences, France.

He has been the recipient of many distinguished awards including the Charles Reid Barnes Award; Adolf E. Gude Award; Martin Gibbs Medal; University of Illinois Achievement Award; Gold Medal Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and Alexander von Humboldt Fellow.

In his retirement Dr. Gibbs maintained affiliations with the aforementioned institutions and enjoyed summers at Woods Hole, Cape Cod with his wife and family.

He is survived by two daughters, Janet Miller and her husband Thomas of Burlington and Laura Kocen and her husband William of Taunton; three sons, Steve Gibbs and his wife Dierdre of Danvers; Michael Gibbs and his wife Jean of Burlington and Robert Gibbs and his wife Lisa of Reading; a daughter-in-law, Donna Gibbs of Danvers and 10 grandchildren.

Visiting hours will be held today, July 27, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Douglass Funeral Home, 51 Worthen Road, Lexington. A funeral will be held at the funeral home on Friday, July 28, at 12:30 p.m. Interment follows in Westview Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Lexington Supportive Day Care, 20 Mill Street, Lincoln, MA 01773. Checks should be made out to Friends of the Council on Aging.

Reprinted with permission of the Lexington Minuteman.