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Seymour Levine

Seymour Gig Levine passed away at home in Davis, CA, October 31, 2007 at the age of 82 in the presence of his family. Gig Levine was born in New York City of immigrant parents in 1925. He graduated from Lafayette High School in Brooklyn, joined the US Army in 1943 and participated in the D-Day landing on Utah Beach. After being wounded in the Battle of the Bulge and convalescing at Camp Carson (CO), Gig received a BA from the University of Denver in 1948 and a PhD in Psychology from New York University in 1952. He held faculty positions in the Department of Psychiatry at Ohio State University from 1956-1960, the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford University from 1962 until his retirement in 1995, and the Department of Psychiatry at UC Davis from 1999 until his death. He also served as Director of the Neurosciences Program at the University of Delaware from 1995-2000 and was a Ford Foundation Fellow at the University of London from 1960-1962.

Dr. Levine wrote or and co-authored over 400 research papers in the field of developmental psychobiology. He received numerous honors during his career, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology in 2000. He was also a devoted opera lover and lifelong San Francisco (ex-NY) Giants fan.

Gig is survived by his wife of 58 years, Barbara; children Robert Levine (Emily), Leslie McGhie (David), Alicia Levine (Brad Goldberg), and four grandchildren. Friends are invited to attend a memorial service Friday, November 9th at 2 PM at the Buehler Alumni Center on the UC Davis Campus. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to www.navajosage.org or www.yolohospice.org.

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May the many wonderful memories you have with Gig help you during this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with Gig and his family. Ruth Victor (formerly Ruth Aquino) While in UCD Psychiatry in 2002-2006, I was the staff support while Dr. Levine was the Chair of the Research Advisory Council.

Ruth Victor Dec 31 2007 12:00 AM

I enjoyed working with Dr. Levine and really enjoyed his humor. He was a very sweet man. He will be missed.

Becci Huitt Dec 31 2007 12:00 AM

Andi and I send our deeply felt condolences to you, Barbara, and to the family. Each of us knew Gig in so many wonderful ways a" as a brilliant scientist who always displayed his passion for science, as loyal friend who knew when to just listen and when to offer his sage advice, as an honest and generous colleague and mentor freely sharing ideas and critiques. Gig was all of these things and more to me over the three decades that I knew him. It is hard to imagine never hearing his deep rumbling voice again, the many stories of his life told with relish, sharing a fine meal with him (then discretely dusting the food off of his tie and shirt), and, of course, his special operatic renditionsa Gigaas spirit and legacy will live on in each of us who were touched by this very unique man.

Paul Plotsky Dec 3 2007 12:00 AM

I didn't know Gig well, but Jon and I had a wonderful time traveling around Japan with him and Barbara in the summer of 1995. He was funny, warm, and such a good sport about sleeping on the floor and eating bizarre shellfish in a traditional Japanese inn, among other things. He was also really supportive of me when we returned from Japan, which I really appreciate. My condolences to the entire family - he was a fine human being.

Woody Dresner Nov 15 2007 12:00 AM

Although I was out of the country, my thoughts were with you and of Gig. Gig's friendship was very important to me and opened a new chapter in my life--something he knew and took pride in. My most sincere condolences to all the family. Bruce

Bruce Overmier Nov 12 2007 12:00 AM

Gig will be sorely missed. He was a great colleague. Please accept my condolences.

James E. Hoffman Nov 10 2007 12:00 AM

Next month will be 40 years from the date I arrived in Palo Alto to take up a postdoctoral fellowship in Gig's lab, a date that marked the start of the most enjoyable two years in my professional career. Gig was an outstanding mentor (though I don't think we yet used the term!): immensely knowledgeable with a truly awesome insight into ways to address research questions experimentally, he was also a vigorous, argumentative, entertaining and always kind, generous, and helpful human being. My family and I were as naive as any young immigrants and Gig and all the researchers and other staff in his lab were nothing but immensely considerate and helpful. Gig was even instrumental in my acquisition of a 1958 Ford station wagon at the bargain price of $250. I vaguely recall that he had won it in a poker game! That period in Gig's lab was a wonderful one, both personally and professionally, and I will always remember with gratitude what Gig did for me. I send my condolences to Barbara and her family.

Justin Joffe Nov 9 2007 12:00 AM

Dear Barbara and Gigaas family I do not have the honor and pleasure to know you all, but I can certainly say that my thoughts are with you on this very difficult moment to say goodbye to Gig. I have known Gig officially in 1989 when Mary Dallman brought me to visit Gigaas lab at Stanford. We sat outside at the picnic table and started talking about science, neonatal handling, development of the brain, stress, etc. He was so energetic and full of life, he had such a fantastic instinct for physiology and behavior; it is like he knew or sensed something nobody else could. And he was so genuinely open and sharing. I will never forget this first time, although there have been more occasions for meetings and discussions. Once in Bordeaux, we sat on the edge of a boat, watching the bay and he talked about his passion for opera, what it meant for him to sit and listen to pure beauty. I hope that wherever he is now, he can be immersed in all those magnificent opera pieces he was so fond of. His friendship and support was classy, generous and committed. I have been honored and blessed by him in many different ways. He made each of us feel valued and unique. He was a great mentor and friend. I will miss him tremendously. Gig, I hope that you are in peace now and listen to heavenaas music. You are still there within each one of us.

Claire-Dominique Walker Nov 8 2007 12:00 AM

In this time of remembrance, our thoughts are with Barbara and her family for the loss of their beloved and caring husband and father.

Mimi & Jim Van Horne Nov 8 2007 12:00 AM

More than six decades ago, Gig Levine was the first to introduce experimental research in developmental psychobiology. In one of his early "Science" papers, he already wrote about his vision that environmental experiences can program brain function and behavior for the whole life. Today, it becomes clear that his vision was right, and early development is among the most important determinants of behavior and psychopathology. His milestone research strongly inspired scientists all over the world. Today, Michael Meaney, Stephen Matthews, and many other speakers spontaneously dedicated a scientific symposium in Perth/Australia to Gig. We all will miss a brilliant scientist, friend and colleague. From now on Gig will have his place in the textbooks, so his contributions will survive him forever. We send our warm hearted condolences to his wife and his family. Dirk Hellhammer

Juliane Hellhammer Nov 7 2007 12:00 AM

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