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David C. Beebe, Ph. D

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“Deeply saddened to hear of his passing. This man was remarkable in his character, kindness, and leadership. He gave me an opportunity to work under...Read More »
1 of 11 | Posted by: Maheep Pannu - St. Louis, MO

“Betsy,I only recently saw the notice of your husband's death. He was quite a remarkable person and husband to you. I am happy that you had those 37...Read More »
2 of 11 | Posted by: Ward Warren - Dallas, TX - Friend

“I remember Dave from the year+ that we overlapped as graduate students at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. It was clear to me then that...Read More »
3 of 11 | Posted by: Annie Schaffner - Vienna, VA

“Though we had lost touch over the years, I have fond memories of skating on ponds and creeks near your boyhood home, and boating on the Great South...Read More »
4 of 11 | Posted by: Kenneth W, Parsons - Sayville, NY

“Dear Betsy, Colin, Jess and Peter: I am so saddened by your loss. It stuck all of us back here in Maryland with shock. How could this happen so...Read More »
5 of 11 | Posted by: Bob Larson & Family - MD

“A person that departs from this earth never truly leaves, you are still alive in our hearts and minds and you will not be forgotten, Thank you Dave ”
6 of 11 | Posted by: Fahmy Mamuya - Boston, MA

“Dear Betsy, I was so shocked and saddened to read Dave's obituary in the Washington Post. Though I had lost touch with you over the years, I have...Read More »
7 of 11 | Posted by: Lindsay Hicks - University Park, MD

“Dave gave me my first faculty position, as an Assistant Professor at USUHS. He was a wonderful mentor, helping me set up a research program and...Read More »
8 of 11 | Posted by: Asaf Keller - Baltimore, MD

“My heart goes out to David's family though I know he's left you with many fond memories. ”
9 of 11 | Posted by: Susan - Virginia Beach, VA

“I was so sorry to hear of your loss. Wishing Betsy, Pete, Colin, Jessica and their families warm love and peace. ”
10 of 11 | Posted by: Tiffany (Willis) Craig - Columbia, MD

“Betsy (and family), I had no idea and was shocked when I read the Washington Post this morning. Sending love to all of you. Dave was a major player...Read More »
11 of 11 | Posted by: Carole Neal - Lewes, DE


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David C. Beebe, PhD
the Janet and Bernard Becker Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences died at his home in St. Louis on Friday, March 27, 2015, from complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He was 70.
A world renowned expert on the development of the eye, Dr. Beebe was a long-time leader in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Washington University Medical School in St. Louis. His research focused on early eye development and the causes and potential prevention of nuclear cataracts and glaucoma. Also a professor of cell biology and physiology, he was recently honored with the creation of an endowed lectureship in his name. In 2014, he was the recipient of a Distinguished Educator Award for Postdoctoral Research Mentoring.
Dr. Beebe served in various leadership roles in the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) over the past 20 years. He served on the ARVO board of trustees from 1996-2002, and was elected ARVO President in 2000. Most recently, he was elected to a five year term as Editor-In-Chief of the ARVO journal, Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. Dr. Beebe had been chosen to receive ARVO's highest service award, the 2015 Joanne G. Angle Award, which his wife will accept on his behalf at the annual meeting in May.
He earned a bachelor's degree in zoology from the University of Rhode Island in 1966, a master's degree in biomedical sciences at Brown University in 1969, and completed a doctorate in biology at the University of Virginia in 1974, where he received the Andrew Fleming Award as the outstanding graduate student in Biology.
He grew up on the south shore of Long Island, NY, in intimate contact with the water. His natural curiosity and close contact with frogs and fish and many hours staring at creatures buzzing beneath the surface of the stream in his backyard awakened his interest in biology, his lifelong passion. His proximity to Great South Bay and competitive spirit resulted in his becoming an outstanding competitive sailor, receiving many trophies and filling display cases at the Sayville Yacht Club. He was on the sailing team at URI the year they captured the North American Inter-Collegiate Sailing Championship.
After a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. Beebe took a faculty position in the Department of Anatomy at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. During his first year at USUHS, he met and married his wife, "the love of his life." He eventually became Chairman of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology and received two Golden Apple (teaching) awards from the medical students during his tenure there.
Dr. Beebe is survived by Anne-Elizabeth B. Beebe, PA-C, his wife of 37 years; three children, Peter (Fay Bouman), Colin (Jennifer Sullivan) and Jessica (Philip Quitslund), four grandchildren; and a younger brother, Don, also a sailor, who still lives near Great South Bay on Long Island, NY.
Services: There will be no funeral, but a memorial service is planned for May 16th at Washington University Medical School in St Louis, MO. Memorial contributions may be made to the Dr. David C. Beebe Lectureship Endowment Fund in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine. Attn: Kevin Largent 7425 Forsyth Blvd., Campus Box 1247, St. Louis, MO 63105.