Zubay's Principles of Biochemistry 2017

Lead Author: Professor Geoffrey Louis Zubay, who pioneered early studies on gene expression after the discovery of the double helical structure of DNA and genetic code, died on February 5 in West Palm Beach, FL, where he and his wife resided since 2011. He was 82 years old. The cause of death was cardiac arrest. He was born in Chicago on November 15, 1931. Dr. Zubay had a very precocious youth and graduated from the University of Chicago with an A.B. in Philosophy at the age of seventeen. He received an M.A.in Physical Chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1952, and a Ph.D from Harvard University in 1957. He completed three years of post- doctoral study at Kings college of the University of London, and the Rockefeller Institute in New York. Dr. Zubay then established his own lab at the Biology Department of Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island in 1961. Three years later Dr. Zubay was recruited to Columbia University where he remained for 41 years. During his tenure at Columbia, Dr. Zubay’s lab became renowned for the development of several cell-free systems for examining the expression of genes. This was during a time of great interestin gene expression following elucidation of the structure of DNA and genetic code. In addition to a long distinguished scientific research that included more than 160 publications, Dr. Zubay wrote a widely employed textbook in Biochemistry that survived four editions. He also wrote a Genetics textbook published in 1987. In his later career, his research interests shifted to the origins of life and prebiotic chemistry. This direction led to another text Origins of Life on the Earth and in the Cosmos, for which there were two editions published by Academic Press. In the aftermaths of 9/11, Dr. Zubay compiled, along with other contributing authors, Agents of Bioterrorism: Pathogens and their weaponization, published by Columbia University Press, Athletically gifted, Dr. Zubay enjoyed playing basketball with colleagues, swimming daily of the University campus, and relaxed playing poker with friends. After retirement, Dr. Zubay and his wife relocated to San Diego, CA where he served for three years as a visiting research scholar at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla. Dr. Zubay is survived by his wife of 47 years, Bongsoon, his son Geoffrey Pyong, Director of Neurosurgery Department at Memorial Hermann-The Woodlands Hospital in Houston TX, his daughter-in –law, Erin, and three grandchildren, Ryan , Abby, and Geoffrey Mitchell.