Royal Society Publishing

Quentin Howieson Gibson. 9 December 1918 — 16 March 2011

John S. Olson, H. Gutfreund


Quentin Howieson Gibson was born in Aberdeen, obtained his MD (1944) and PhD (1946) from Queen's University in Belfast and subsequently took a faculty position at the University of Sheffield (1947), where he was appointed Professor of Biochemistry in 1957. In 1963 he moved to the USA, where he held a faculty position at the University of Pennsylvania before he became the Greater Philadelphia Professor in the Section of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Cornell University in 1966. After retiring from Cornell, he became a Distinguished Faculty Fellow at Rice University and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School at Worcester. While at Cornell, Quentin was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (1969), a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1970), and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA (1982), served as an associate editor of Journal of Biological Chemistry (1975–94) and received the Keilin Memorial Medallist Award and Lectureship (1990). Quentin's major scientific accomplishments include the discovery of the biochemical cause of familial methaemoglobinaemia, construction of the first practical stopped-flow rapid-mixing spectrometer, adaptation of flash photolysis methods to haem proteins, identification of the first semi-stable intermediates in the O2 reactions of flavoenzymes, the first direct kinetic measurement of intermediates for the reaction of O2 with cytochrome c oxidase, quantitative kinetic evaluations of cooperative O2 binding to haemoglobins, determinations of how iron reactivity and ligand diffusion govern rates of ligand binding, and experimental mapping of the pathways for O2 entry into the active sites of globins.