BC Professor Christopher Dunbar Passes Away

Professor Christopher Dunbar./Brooklyn College

By John Schilling

   The Brooklyn College community was saddened on Wednesday, Apr. 6 when Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Anne Lopes announced that Professor Christopher Dunbar died “unexpectedly in his sleep” on Friday, Apr. 1. Dunbar, who was a professor in the Department of Biology, served as a director of the department’s graduate program and previously served as the chair of the Kinesiology Department.

   “Professor Dunbar taught courses and published extensively in the areas of exercise physiology, exercise prescription, exercise testing, and ECG,” said Lopes in a statement. “His service to the entire college community for over 30 years will never be forgotten.”

   This semester, Dunbar taught two in-person sections of the KINS.4200W Physiology of Exercise course in the West Quad Building, as well as the KINS.4760 Internship in Exercise Science hybrid course.

   Through his passing, Dunbar leaves behind a fruitful legacy of service and accomplishments at Brooklyn College, including a 2004 study into a part of the electrocardiogram (ECG) known as the “P-wave.” In this study of 123 patients, Dunbar, along with Dr. Barry Saul of New York Methodist Hospital, found that P-wave changes were “potentially a more accurate predictor of heart disease than the ST segment,” which is the traditional section that physicians look to. 

   In May 2004, the results of the study were published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. At the time, Dunbar raved about the study, making clear his passion for his work.

   “Of course, when we started the project we thought we would find something completely different,” Dunbar told BC News in 2004. “But that’s the way it is with science: You find these things when you are trying to find something else. But when you write it up you look like a genius!”

   Lopes further emphasized the importance of Dunbar to the Brooklyn College community in her statement and advised that students contact Brooklyn College’s Personal Counseling Services if they are “in need of grief or counseling services.” 

   “Our thoughts are with his beloved family and his many colleagues who will miss him dearly,” Lopes continued. “Let us all find strength and comfort in his memories as we go through this difficult time.”