Dr. Ralff Carvalho Justiano Ribeiro
Visiting Associate Researcher
Dr. Ribeiro’s sudden and premature death in May 2002 was totally unexpected. His career was flourishing and he was enjoying life, pursuing his interests in science, soccer and cinema. We remember him as a respected colleague and a person we admired.
He grew up in Anápolis, a small city near Brazil’s capital, Brasília. He received his M.D. at the University of Brasília in 1981 and later received training as a nephrologist at the Federal University of São Paulo. After finishing his Ph.D. in 1989, he came to UCSF as a postdoctoral fellow under Dr. John D. Baxter. He then joined the faculty here in 1993 as an adjunct instructor and later as an assistant research biochemist. While here, he became a leader in his area of thyroid hormone receptor research, and had established a strong international reputation. He was then recruited to the University of Brasília as a professor of pharmacology in the Department of Pharmaceutical Science. However, he continued to have strong ties to UCSF and spent time here as a visiting associate researcher. His efforts to establish a major research center in Brazil were only just beginning, but the emerging strength of his new program was evident. He was attracting a large number of outstanding students and had created a vibrant intellectual environment. He had also stimulated a number of faculty around him in a highly interactive environment.
Others may remember him for his contribution to Bay Area soccer. He played on the UCSF team and was a key organizer of indoor soccer at UCSF. He later founded the Pikers FC soccer club that still plays in the Marin soccer league. Typically, he preferred that his teams should contain players from every region of the world, and many lasting friendships were formed during that time.
His personal attributes stand apart. He had the utmost standards of integrity. It was a joy to work with him. He had a sense of humor and a zest for life that was uplifting. Ralff was a terrific and true friend of many of us at UCSF, a rare human being who was generous and enjoyed the happiness of his friends. We will miss him sorely. As great as is his loss to us, it cannot compare to that of his wife, Evelyne, who is left without a husband and his three teenage children, Rafael, Patricia and Isabel, who are left without their daddy.