John L. Middlebrook 1968 (Obituary)

Dr. John L. Middlebrook, who was given Pacific University’s Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 1978, passed away July 18, 2010 in Salt Lake City. He was 63 years old.

Dr. Middlebrook was born Dec. 16, 1946 in Astoria, Ore. He graduated from Pacific with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, then earned a doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology at Duke University in 1972. He completed a postdoctoral degree in pharmacology at Stanford University Medical School in 1975.

An avid outdoorsman as well as an avid gourmet cook and skilled woodworker, Dr. Middlebrook was deeply involved in scientific research in toxicology and an early pioneer in the field of recombinant DNA.  He worked as a research chemist testing nuclear, chemical and biological warfare items in several positions with U.S. Army, the Department of Defense and other private or governmental organizations in need of biological testing services. He was also interested in compounds that crossed the blood-brain barriers and the use for such drugs in fighting diseases of the nervous system as well as in treatment of trauma to the brain and spinal cord.

In 1999, Dr. Middlebrook was severely  injured in a car accident in his hometown at that time, Frederick, Md. He spent several months in intensive care, and then underwent rehabilitation for several years. When a return to his work proved impossible, he moved back to Salt Lake City, where he had worked years before as scientific director at the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground.

The Chinook Observer, Long Beach, Wash., Jan. 12, 2011.