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Arthur Giese

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Area: cell physiology

Years: 1933-1971


From Stanford University News Service                                                                                           January 11, 1994

Professor emeritus Arthur C. Giese dead at 89

STANFORD -- Professor Emeritus Arthur C. Giese, an internationally known photobiologist and a devoted teacher who served on the Stanford faculty for more than 60 years, died Jan. 1 at Stanford Hospital after a heart attack. He was 89.

Giese, who retired officially in 1970, "maintained a full- time active career right up until the time of his death," said Philip Hanawalt, professor of biological sciences.

Giese was an authority on marine invertebrate biology, cell physiology and protozoology. He was "the world authority" on the protozoan Blepharisma, Hanawalt said.

Giese kept an office in the department of biological sciences, and at the time of his death was completing the seventh revision of his classic textbook, Cell Physiology, first published in 1959. A group of colleagues plans to see that the text is finished, Hanawalt said.

In addition to his textbook, he wrote Blepharisma, The Biology of a Light-Sensitive Protozoan in 1973, and edited an eight- edition book series, Photophysiology. He also wrote, in 1976, Living With Our Sun's Ultraviolet Rays, which dealt with the role of ultraviolet light in causing cancer.

Dedicated to students

Giese was mentor to more than two dozen doctoral students in biology, and colleagues said he was remarkable for his depth of concern for both his graduate students and the undergraduates who took his courses.

In a statement read at Giese's memorial service Jan. 10 in Memorial Church, Donald Kennedy, former Stanford president and a colleague in the department of biological sciences, said that Giese would photograph all 160 students in his course on cell physiology. He would interview each student and prepare an index card to which he could add evaluations of their performances.

"I doubt if many Stanford faculty members have written, over the years, as many recommendations to medical and graduate school as he," Kennedy said.

Colleagues at Hopkins Marine Station wrote in a tribute that Giese and his wife, Raina, an artist, "incorporated his students into their family." They recalled that Giese gave each of his graduating students a cutting from a jade plant from the garden of their campus home.

Hanawalt said that Giese treated all students equally, "no matter what their intellectual ability. He was known and loved for a lifelong dedication to teaching."

"In these days when we are trying to get professors to put more emphasis on teaching, here is a professor who throughout his career showed an admirable dedication to students and their needs. If a student had a problem, that became his priority," Hanawalt said. "He was one of the most selfless people I ever met."

Kennedy, who met Giese 35 years ago when Kennedy was a "hopeful, rather nervous candidate for a faculty position here," said that Giese also was "a compassionate and helpful colleague, concerned with the welfare of younger colleagues and interested in their progress."

In his honor, the department of biological sciences has established the Arthur Giese Graduate Fellowship in Cell Biology, said Robert Simoni, department chairman.

Many talents

A native of Chicago, Giese earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Chicago in 1927 and was a teaching fellow at the University of California the following year. He came to Stanford in 1929 for doctoral work, serving as a teaching assistant, then joining the faculty in 1933.

He also taught at Cal Tech, Woods Hole and Cold Spring Harbor. He was twice a winner of Guggenheim fellowships and was a Rockefeller fellow at Princeton. He was a member of the National Research Council and was active in the Western Society of Naturalists.

Giese was an accomplished flutist and cellist, said David Perkins, professor emeritus of biological sciences. Departmental colleagues who arrived early enough in the morning often could hear him practicing in his office.

Perkins recalled that in 1981 Giese was struck by a car while walking on Palm Drive. He broke his leg in 13 places and his pelvis, but he struggled to put himself back in shape and continued his professional work, Perkins said.



Holland, N.S., J.H. Phillips, Jr. and A.C. Giese. 1965 An autoradiographic investigation of the coelomocyte production in the purple sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus). Biol.Bull., v.128 no.2 pp.259-270

The four-carbon respiratory system and growth of the mold Neurospora, Ryan, FJ; Tatum, EL; Giese, AC. JOURNAL OF CELLULAR AND COMPARATIVE PHYSIOLOGY Volume: 23 Issue: 2 Pages: 83-94

Studies on the nutrition of dim and bright variants of a species of luminous bacteria, Giese, AC. JOURNAL OF BACTERIOLOGY Volume: 46 Issue: 4 Pages: 323-331 Published: OCT 1943

Stimulation of yeast respiration by ultraviolet radiations, Giese, AC. JOURNAL OF CELLULAR AND COMPARATIVE PHYSIOLOGY Volume: 20 Issue: 1 Pages: 35-46 Published: AUG 1942

Ultraviolet radiation and cell division - Variation in resistance to radiation with stock, species and nutritional differences in paramecium, Giese, AC; Reed, EA. JOURNAL OF CELLULAR AND COMPARATIVE PHYSIOLOGY Volume: 15 Issue: 3 Pages: 395-408 Published: JUN 1940

Ultraviolet radiation and cell division I. Effects of lambda 2654 and 2804A upon paramecium caudatum, Giese, AC. JOURNAL OF CELLULAR AND COMPARATIVE PHYSIOLOGY Volume: 13 Issue: 2 Pages: 139-150 Published: APR 1939

Studies on conjugation in paramecium multimicronucleatum, Giese, AC. AMERICAN NATURALIST Volume: 73 Pages: 432-444 Published: 1939

The effects of ultra-violet radiations of various wave-lengths upon cleavage of sea urchin eggs, Giese, AC. BIOLOGICAL BULLETIN Volume: 75 Issue: 2 Pages: 238-247 Published: OCT 1938

Differential susceptibility of a number of protozoans to ultraviolet radiations, Giese, AC. JOURNAL OF CELLULAR AND COMPARATIVE PHYSIOLOGY Volume: 12 Issue: 1 Pages: 129-138 Published: AUG 1938

The effects of ultra-violet radiation of gimel 2537A upon cleavage of sea urchin eggs, Giese, AC. BIOLOGICAL BULLETIN Volume: 74 Issue: 2 Pages: 330-341 Published: APR 1938

Sublethal effects of long wave-length ultra-violet, Giese, AC. SCIENCE Volume: 87 Pages: 326-327 Published: JAN-JUN 1938

Phosphorescence of cells and cell products, Giese, AC; Leighton, PA. SCIENCE Volume: 85 Pages: 428-429 Published: JAN-JUN 1937

Quantitative studies on the photolethal effects of quartz ultra-violet radiation upon Paramecium, Giese, AC; Leighton, PA. JOURNAL OF GENERAL PHYSIOLOGY Volume: 18 Issue: 4 Pages: 557-571 Published: MAR 1935

The long wave-length limit of photolethal action in the ultra-violet, Giese, A. C.; Leighton, P. A. SCIENCE Volume: 81 Issue: 2089 Pages: 53-54 Published: JAN 11 1935

Potential differences across natural membranes separating unlike salt solutions, Brooks, SC; Giese, AC; Giese, RI. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY Volume: 8 Issue: 2 Pages: 124-132 Published: APR 1931

Memorial Resolution:

Arthur Charles Giese 1904 - 1994