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Walter Ray Gibbons, Ph.D.
Professor of Physiology and Biophysics
Ray was a welcome regular on the British-Cars list for several years.
Ray was always quick to help and quick of wit, and often brought a smile
to our day. It was a great day when Kermit the Frogeye made it back to
the road after restoration. Here's a couple pieces he wrote or worked on:
From Glen Wilson:
Ray Gibbons will indeed be missed, not the least by Kermit the frogeye.
One of my favorite memories of Ray was the thread about using the Dremel
tool to place "new" timing marks on an engine with a misaligned pulley.
At some point, someone (maybe Ray) remarked that some later buyer would
pay a premium price when informed that this was a "rare transitional production"
car or something to that effect. This technique of instantly
increasing the value of your old LBC was quickly dubbed "Gibbonisation,"
and Ray took a lot of ribbing in his whenever the word "Dremel" popped
Here's a typical Ray Gibbons story from last summer ('96):
"When I was restoring Kermit the frogeye, I got a good laugh.
I had a parts bugeye parked outside. Because this was an upscale,
uptight country neighborhood, I went to some trouble to hide it.
It was covered with a brown tarp weighted around the edges; no part of
the car was visible. It was 150 feet from the road. A woodpile
20 feet long and 4 ft high separated the car from my neighbors. The
road is bordered by a hedge, so the only clear view through is via the
drive entrance off a road where the median speed is about 50mph.
"One afternoon, a strange car came down my drive and a fellow knocked
at the door. He said he was just driving by, and thought he recognized
a bugeye under the tarp. I couldn't figure how; he had to be the
most eagle eyed fellow in town. Except perhaps for me. He introduced
himself and told me where he lived (on a back country mountain road).
I told him there was an Alfa Guilietta in a barn near him; I had glimpsed
one bumperette through a crack in the barn door. "That's mine," he
"I think this area has been mined out."
On 04/07/97, W. R. Gibbons wrote:
At long last, the temp in Burlington, VT, topped 60F (with sunshine)
on Sat and Sun. I have sure grown tired of hearing how
wonderful it is elsewhere.
I wiggled into Kermit the frogeye (his custom-built tax-free shed is
close quarters) on Saturday. Switch off, I pulled the starter.
In about 10 seconds, oil pressure appeared, and I turned the
Despite 4-1/2 months of inactivity (save for a battery charge in January)
the engine fired immediately, the brakes braked, and the clutch
disengaged. Love it when a plan comes together.
I eased Kermit down the ramps, dropped the top while he warmed
up, and I was off for country roads. Repeated again Sunday.
Love the wind in what used to be my hair. This evening, I think
I will clean the oil off the chrome.
BACKGROUND AND PERSONAL
B.S., 1961, Washington University, Engineering Physics
1967, Ph.D., Washington University, Physiology and Biophysics
1967-71, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Chicago, Electrophysiology
UVM Faculty since 1971
Dr. Gibbons investigates the ionic basis of electrical activity in cardiac
muscle, and the mechanisms that link electrical activity and contraction
in heart. Work from his laboratory recently demonstrated that a chloride
current is regulated by intracellular calcium levels in heart. This current
helps repolarize the cardiac action potential, and is likely to contribute
to some types of arrhythmogenic electrical activity. Work is in progress
to define the contributions of this current to electrical responses of
the heart, and to understand the basic properties and regulation of the
Water and Electrolytes
Department: Undergraduate Education Committee 72-74; Graduate Education
Committee, Chair, 76-80; Graduate Education Committee Member, 85-90; Promotions
and Standards Committee, Chair 82-92; Ad hoc Committee for Long Range Plan
College: Graduate Education Committee 74-78, Chair 76-77; Accreditation
Steering Committee 78-79; Committee on Instructional Improvement 82-84;
Research Committee 84-86; Faculty Standards Committee 86-89, Chair 88-89;
Accreditation Task Force on Faculty, Chair 89; Accreditation Subcommittee
on Objectives, 89; Academic Honesty Panel Representative 92-95;
University: Search Committee Electrical Engr. 75; Administrative Policy
Committee 76-78; Review Committee Dental Hygiene, Chair 78; Committee on
Retirement Plan Alternatives 84-85; Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
90-94; Research Committee, Faculty Senate 91-92; Subcommittee on Research
Misconduct 91-present; Animal Care Study 92-93.
This page was adapted from Rays original personal web page at
The British Cars Web