Frans Frederik Jobsis, 77, died Tuesday in Durham Regional Hospital following an extended illness. Over the last couple of months, he was able to continue to enjoy family reunions at the beach and living at home with his wife, Joan Murray Jobsis. Frans was born April 1, 1929 in Jakarta, Indonesia where he lived until the age of 9 when the family moved to The Netherlands at the onset of WW II. Frans moved to the U.S. at 19, graduating from the Univ. of Maryland. He received his PhD from the Univ. of Michigan and completed several post-doctoral studies in Biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania, in Biochemistry in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and in Neurophysiology at the Nobel Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Combining these many fields of study, Frans began his career in physiology research at the Univ. of Pennsylvania before accepting a position with Duke University Medical Center in 1964.
An eminent physiologist, Dr. Jobsis made major contributions to the understanding of muscle contraction and brain metabolism and founded the field of near infra-red light spectrophotometry allowing the measurement of oxygen levels in tissue and blood. This was a profoundly significant contribution to the advancement of healthcare for the benefit of humankind. He was a recipient of many professional awards, including a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and the Semmelweis award. Frans published extensively throughout his prestigious career. A man with an insatiable curiosity, Frans was an explorer and a pioneer, not only in his professional endeavors but in all aspects of life. Frans’ dream to be a farmer came true with the help of his wife Joan. Together, they built their farm in Efland and raised many animals. He inspired his children and grandchildren to learn, with his knack for telling stories, singing and imparting knowledge through his remarkable creativity. A renaissance man, Frans Jobsis will be remembered for his amazing breadth of knowledge and countless experiences. He loved life and never took his own for granted. Frans had a huge heart, brimming over with love, warmth and inclusiveness. His friends and family grieve the loss of this larger-than-life soul who defined charisma, warmth, hospitality and generosity of spirit.
Frans is survived by his wife, Joan Murray Jobsis; his brother, Adriaan C. Jobsis of The Netherlands; his children, Catherine T. "Terry