In Memorium: Barbara Chapman

In Memorium: Barbara Chapman

Barbara Chapman was a remarkable person who was able to balance her family, her research, her colleagues, and her students with extraordinary grace. Not only was Barbara a brilliant scientist, but she was also a caring, funny, and compassionate person who lifted the spirits of those around her. She devoted herself to the students, both in her lab and in the graduate group as a whole, whether it involved staying late helping with a recording, providing food for her journal club, or keeping the party going at the retreat. More amazingly, she did so while facing a terminal illness. The Chapman lab deeply mourns the loss of Barbara, but we are thankful for all that she has taught us and we hope to honor her legacy.

– Sam Failor, Zac Davis, and Sarah Long

Sam, Barbara, and Zac at CSHL

Sam, Barbara, and Zac at CSHL

Barbara Chapman passed away February 11, 2013. She will be missed by all, particularly here at Davis. The department of Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior has an announcement dedicated to her here.

Barbara’s work made a major impact on the field of visual system development, with papers published in such prestigious journals as Science, Nature Neuroscience, and Neuron. In particular, she and her lab has done extensive work characterizing the role of spontaneous electrical activity in the retina in driving the establishment and refinement of neural circuitry in the visual pathway, including the lateral geniculate nucleus and the primary visual cortex. Barbara also co-organized the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory summer vision course with Marty Usrey, which brought together leaders in vision neuroscience and allowed students to learn about and discuss the cutting edge developments in their field.

Current and past trainees of her lab are: Farran Briggs, Zac Davis, Samuel Failor, Imke Gooedecke, Andrew Huberman, Sarah Karlen, Daniel Slutsky, Colenso Speer, and Chao Sun.

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