Samir Deeb, August 8, 1935 – January 10, 2018

Samir Deeb, Research Professor of Medicine (Medical Genetics) passed away at the age of 82. His health had declined in the last year. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) robbed him of his ability to speak and swallow.

Samir Deeb
Samir Deeb in his UW office


Samir received a PhD in chemistry from the University of Illinois and then came to the University of Washington, Department of Genetics for postdoctoral training from 1964-6.  Samir joined the American University of Beirut in his home country of Lebanon. There he rose to tenured Professor and Chairman of Biology.

Samir joined Medical Genetics in November 1983 as a Visiting Professor, after his laboratory was shelled in the Lebanese Civil War.  He formally joined the Division of Medical Genetics as a Research Associate Professor in 1986 and was promoted to Research Professor in 1992. Samir became an emeritus faculty member in January 2013.

Samir had a productive scientific career, making foundational contributions to the understanding of color vision. He worked closely with the late Dr. Arno Motulsky on that work and in the field of lipid genetics.  He published over 175 scientific papers and 21 scientific book chapters. Samir was a very collaborative faculty member and many of us have been privileged to work with him.  He was always supportive and generous with this time. He will be missed.


Samir was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Barbara, and son, Sami.  He is survived by his daughter Lamya Deeb (Russ Morgan), his daughter-in-law Mari Malkki, and his grandchildren Perrin Cebe (nee Deeb), Drake Morgan, and Anthony Deeb, and his brothers Nabil and Munir Dib.  

Deeb Lecture Series

His family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to a Samir Deeb lecture/series at the University of Washington, Division of Medical Genetics.  For further information or to donate, please contact Beverly Berg-Rood.