Dr. Lilian Gobbi (PhD '97) passed away unexpectedly on October 20, 2022. Professor Gobbi earned her PhD in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo under the direction of the late professor Aftab Patla.
Gobbi, her husband, Sebastião, and their two young children, Ronaldo and Peri, arrived at the University of Waterloo from Brazil in 1992. Gobbi pursued her PhD in movement neuroscience, while Sebastião studied cardiorespiratory physiology with Dr. Richard Hughson.
Over their five years at the University, Gobbi and her family fully embraced life in Canada. Leaving the sun and sand of Brazil, they boldly embraced winter with tobogganing, skating and building snow people. Gobbi was known by friends, colleagues and students for seizing every moment of joy!
Following completion of her PhD, she returned to her position with the Department of Physical Education at São Paulo State University. Over her career, she built a world-class research lab focused on the study of normal and adaptive human gait and balance.
She mentored many talented students and helped to elevate the reputation of the department graduate program while serving as graduate chair. Gobbi's stories of her time in Canada encouraged many more Brazilian students to pursue graduate studies at the University of Waterloo, including Dr. Luiz Santos, Dr. Renato Moraes, Dr. Veronica Myaskike-daSilva and Dr. Carolina Silveira.
She is remembered fondly by her students as a gifted mentor and talented researcher. She believed that students were key to the success of a research program. She instilled confidence, passion and the joy of scientific discovery in her students.
Gobbi’s passion for research, dedication to her students and joy of life will live on through the many students she mentored, her colleagues, friends and cherished family.
- by Jim Frank, professor emeritus