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Chi-Bin Chien

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Chi-Bin Chien Obituary
11/3/1965 ~ 12/2/2011
Chi-Bin Chien, husband, father, son, brother, professor, and friend died December 2, 2011, his battle with cancer over. Invariably courageous through more than twelve years of treatments and procedures, and despite increasing immobility and dependence, Chi-Bin maintained an indomitable optimism, his singular sweetness, and the kindest and brightest of smiles. Chi-Bin resolutely resisted any limitation of his disease with a personal strength that impressed every person he encountered.
Chi-Bin was born in New Haven, CT, the first child of Chih-Yung Chien and Chun-Wuei Su. Chi-Bin was extraordinarily gifted academically, entering Johns Hopkins University at 12 years old, then completing a Ph.D. in biophysics at the California Institute of Technology, followed by postdoctoral training in neuroscience at University of California, San Diego, and the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen, Germany. Chi-Bin was a Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy in the School of Medicine at the University of Utah. His research focused on how the precise wiring of the nervous system is established.
Internationally, Chi-Bin was known as a teacher, scholar, and innovator. At the University of Utah, he was a leader, a tireless contributor, and a generous collaborator. To the members of his laboratory, he was a giving mentor and the strongest of supporters. Now, at his passing, the international zebrafish research community has established The Chi-Bin Chien Award, to honor a select research trainee who demonstrates both the intellectual excellence and generosity of spirit that characterized Chi-Bin.
Though prodigiously accomplished, one never felt outclassed in Chi-Bin's presence, only appreciated by him. His demeanor was humble, his nature inclusive, his point-of-view invariably positive, his heart attentive and caring. Chi-Bin always said it was the last twelve years of his life that really mattered, the time in which he met and married the woman with whom he would share his life, Nicola Hack. Together, they raised a daughter, Molly Chang-Ling Chien, now nine years old. Chi-Bin passed on to Molly his unflagging optimism, his curiosity, and his excitement about the world.
Chi-Bin's life was exceptionally full. He made weekend breakfasts for his family, played ultimate frisbee, and enjoyed filling his house with friends. He deeply loved his family. Chi-Bin had a selfless and caring mother and father, a devoted brother and sister, Chi-Kai and Chi-An, their spouses, Setsuko and Keith. After finding Niki, Chi-Bin gained a new loving family, whom he cherished. He is survived by father-in-law Kenneth, brother-in-law Roger and his wife Jenny, and sister-in-law Pip. He leaves behind seven beloved nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother Chun-Wuei and mother-in-law Lee Hack, both victims of cancer. The compassionate attention of his family throughout his illness was essential to his well-being and that of his family; it will never be forgotten. Chi-Bin and Niki were blessed by a wide group of devoted friends, colleagues, and coworkers. Collectively, all these supporters provided invaluable help during the course of his illness. The family is deeply grateful for their unwavering friendship.
The family extends their deepest thanks to Saundra Buys, MD, and to all of the doctors, nurses, and staff of Huntsman Cancer Hospital. Their sensitivity and compassion is treasured by the family. Niki, Chi-Bin, and Molly found shelter there, understanding, and the highest quality of care.
In lieu of gifts or flowers, the family requests that any contributions be made to an educational fund for Molly Chien, at www.uesp.org. (Beneficiary: Molly Chien, Account # 200215526, Account holders: Chi-Bin Chien and Nicola Hack).
A memorial service for Chi-Bin will be held at the First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City, 569 S. 1300 E. on Friday, December 9, 2011 at 2:30 p.m. A reception will follow the service. Online condolences may be left at www.legacy.com.

Published in Salt Lake Tribune from Dec. 4 to Dec. 5, 2011
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