With the passing away of Professor Emeritus Suhayl Jabbur, the American University of Beirut has lost a pillar of its medical staff and a giant of the neuroscience field in Lebanon and the region.
Jabbur received his MD from AUB in 1956 and earned a doctor of philosophy and biophysics from the University of Washington in 1960. He returned to AUB as assistant professor of physiology that same year and moved up the ranks to associate professor of physiology (neurophysiology) with tenure in 1965 and full professor in 1979.
His influential career at AUB began in 1960 when he founded the Research and Teaching Laboratories in Neuroscience and laid the groundwork for the establishment of the Interfaculty Graduate Neuroscience Program. Throughout his tenure at the Faculty of Medicine, he remained a core of the Department of Physiology, taught scores of MD classes, and mentored more than 100 graduate students.
Dr. Ghazi Zaatari, associate dean for medical affairs, spoke about the tremendous footprint that Jabbur leaves behind at the Faculty of Medicine.
“Dr. Jabbur will always be remembered for his distinguished and pioneering career in neuroscience, outstanding professionalism, and dedicated service to AUB’s educational programs and community at large,” said Zaatari. “His love and enthusiasm for the science motivated many a student to seek their careers in the neurosciences and several of them went on to become leaders in the field at AUB and in North America.”
His dedication to the university, its medical center, and the service of humanity is best illustrated by his uninterrupted visibility during the many years of civil strife in Lebanon and by his continuous involvement in coordinating and teaching two courses to medical students and one course to paramedical students.
“One of the greatest legacies of Suhayl Jabbur lies in his eternal influence not only on the scientist in us, but to extend to the intellectual, to the cultured, and to the humanist,” said Dr. Faysal El Kak, senior lecturer at the Faculty of Health Sciences and clinical associate at the AUB Medical Center. “There is nothing more human than giving to others beyond any expectations; in generations to come, Professor Jabbur’s transcendental tutoring will be a path less travelled.”
At the national and international level, Jabbur contributed to the founding of many national and international societies and, within the university, he made valuable and significant contributions serving on a host of committees. His publications record boasts an extensive list of articles in prestigious periodicals with a high impact factor.
Among numerous awards and decorations, Jabbur won the 1994 Basic Medical Sciences Award from The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries, located in Trieste, Italy. He was also given the Professor of the Year Award by Medicine I class in 2004 and was honored in 2006 with the Gold Medal Award from the Medical Chapter of AUB alumni. He was named honorary member of the International Association of the Study of Pain in 2005 and honorary president of the Lebanese Society for the Study of Pain in 2007.
Dr. Jabbur is survived by his wife Amal and his daughters—Lamya, Mona, and Nada—and their families.