Paul Mark Knopf


BARRINGTON, R.I. – Paul Mark Knopf, Ph.D. passed away on Jan. 31 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. Paul is survived by his wife of 58 years, Carol Lois Harrison Knopf. Other surviving family members include the couple’s three children, Jeffrey Knopf (and his partner, Christina Milburn), Steven Knopf (and his wife, Jennifer), daughter Rachel Yakubik (and her husband, Gary Yakubik) and three beloved grandsons, Jakob Yakubik, Andrew Knopf, and Cameron Knopf.

Born in Trenton, New Jersey, Paul received a B.Sc. from MIT in physics in 1958 and a doctorate in biophysics in 1962.

Knopf did a post-doctoral fellowship in Cambridge, England, at the Medical Research Council, working under Dr. Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA. Upon returning to the U.S., he went to work at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California. After several years at the Salk Institute, Knopf found his passion while working with students. In 1972, he joined the faculty at Brown University, doing what he loved best – teaching. He ultimately became a full professor, and among his many honors, in 1992 he was named the first “Charles A. and Helen B. Stuart Professor of Medical Science” Chair. In 1998 he was honored as “Teacher of the Year” (Life Sciences, Brown University) for teaching undergraduate courses in Immunology.

Knopf loved traveling and was fortunate to be able to visit; and sometimes live and work in London, Berlin, Rome, Cairo and Melbourne.

Paul Knopf was loved with great affection by all of his family members, his and Carol’s many friends, and by the hundreds of students that he taught.

Donations may be made in his memory to Temple Habonim, 165 New Meadow Road, Barrington, RI 02806; to the American Parkinson Disease Association, RI Chapter, website; or to the Progeria Research Foundation website,