In memory of Dr. Gibbs who died February 16,
Dr. Clarence "Joe"
Joseph Gibbs, Jr., chief of NINDS's Laboratory of Central Nervous System
Studies (LCNSS). He was 76 years old.Dr.
Gibbs received his A. B., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the Catholic University
of America. He carried out predoctoral research in clinical microbiology
and virology under Dr. Joseph E. Smadel in the Department of Hazardous
Operations, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research where he developed a
vaccine for Rift Valley Fever Virus. In 1959 he joined the Laboratory of
Tropical Virology and became Acting Chief of the Section on Arthropod Borne
Viruses, NIAID. In 1961 in collaboration with D. Carleton Gajdusek he established
the Laboratory of Slow, Latent and Temperate Virus Infections. In 1964
he demonstrated infection as the etiology of kuru and in 1967 of Creutzfeldt-Jakob
disease, both subacute progressive degenerative brain diseases, resulting
in the Nobel Prize for Medicine awarded to Dr. Gajdusek in 1976. Dr. Gibbs
became Chief of the Laboratory of Central Nervous System Studies in 1998.
He has received numerous awards and honors including the HHS Gold Medal
for research, was twice awarded the SES Presidential Meritorious Executive
Rank Award, in addition to three honorary degrees. He is an elected member
of the American Neurological Association and the French Neurological Society,
and was the recipient of the Ottorino Rossi Award from the University of
Pavia, Italy. Dr. Gibbs’
laboratory is studying the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies
focus on slow, latent, and temperate viral infections associated with
chronic degenerative neurological diseases. Important areas of study are
the etiology and pathogenesis of slow infections (subacute spongiform encephalopathies)
and mechanisms of viral persistence in the central nervous system.Also
under intensive molecular biological, genetic, and immunological study
is amyloid formation in the brain in kuru, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD),
Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker disease (GSS), fatal familial insomnia (FFI),
scrapie, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and Alzheimer's disease.
Studies are also
conducted on the elucidation of the de novo generation of infectious
amyloid proteins from normal host precursor proteins in kuru, CJD, GSS,
FFI, scrapie and BSE. Other chronic CNS disorders such as amyotrophic
lateral sclerosis, parkinsonism dementia, Viliuisk encephalitis,
schizophrenia, and bipolar psychoses are also studied from the point of
view of etiology and pathogenesis.