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John Paul SanGiovanni

October 2, 1964 ~ September 25, 2023 (age 58) 58 Years Old

John Paul SanGiovanni Obituary

John Paul SanGiovanni, 58, of Rockville, MD, passed away on September 25, 2023. Born on October 2, 1964, in Ames, Iowa, he was the son of John Paul, Sr. and Marie SanGiovanni. John Paul is survived by his beloved wife, Brigitte, and his two sons, Jean-Philippe and Daniel. He is also survived by his father, John Paul, Sr., his mother, Marie, his brother, Tom, and his sisters, Lara and Jana (SanGiovanni-Kreger). He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Carlo and Maria SanGiovanni, and his maternal grandparents, Philip and Mary Santoro.

John Paul was known for his caring and kind nature and lived a life of service and faith. First and foremost, John Paul loved his family more than anything and took great pride in sharing stories about all of them. His genuineness touched all he came in contact with. He always went out of his way to help his friends and mentored numerous students throughout his life. His dedication to others was truly inspiring.

John Paul was a highly accomplished individual in his career. He was the founding Director of the Center for Study of Nutrient Responsive Systems and held faculty appointments at the BIO5 Institute, the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience, and the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Arizona. He was also the Director of Food & Nutrition Programs at the NSF IUCRC Center to Stream Healthcare in Place.

With a strong educational background, John Paul earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Boston College. He further pursued his studies at Brandeis University, where he obtained a Master's degree, and Harvard University, where he earned another Master's and a Doctor of Science degree from the T.H. Chan School of Public Health. His expertise spanned various fields, including neuroscience, visual psychophysics, nutritional biochemistry, biostatistics, and epidemiological research design.

During his 20-year career at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), John Paul made significant contributions to the field of ophthalmology and nutrition. He was the scientific director and responsible party for the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) and the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2). These studies led to the development of a standard of care for preventing progression to advanced macular degeneration. His work also included multi-center clinical trials that resulted in standard-of-care treatments for age-related degeneration and the first successful genome-wide association study on complex disease.

John Paul's achievements were widely recognized, and he received numerous accolades throughout his career. He received the NIH Director's Award in 2008 and 2011, as well as the Norman Salem Jr. Early Career Award from the International Society on the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids in 2010. His groundbreaking research was published (sometimes as cover stories) in prestigious scientific journals such as Science, Nature Medicine, JAMA, and PNAS, and his work has been cited over 20,000 times.

Outside of his professional endeavors, John Paul had a passion for soccer and music. His accomplishments in the former included high school All-State and college soccer at North Carolina State and Boston College.

A Visitation service will be held on October 2, 2023, from 10-11 am at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Rockville, MD where the Funeral Mass will begin at 11am.  Interment to follow at All Souls Cemetery in Germantown, MD.

John Paul SanGiovanni's legacy of kindness, dedication, and remarkable contributions to the field of ophthalmology and nutrition will be cherished by all who knew him. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, colleagues, and the countless lives he touched throughout his lifetime.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations be made to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in John Paul's name (

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October 2, 2023

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Mary's Catholic Church
520 Veirs Mill Road
Rockville, MD 20852

Funeral Mass
October 2, 2023

11:00 AM
St. Mary's Catholic Church
520 Veirs Mill Road
Rockville, MD 20852

Interment following funeral service
October 2, 2023

All Souls Cemetery
11401 Brink Rd
Germantown, MD 20876


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