He came to us from the Hotchkiss School. At Princeton Zab was a biology major and belonged to Tiger Inn. He roomed with Bruce Beatty, Arthur Haas, and Frank Wright. He earned a medical degree from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, served for two years in the Air Force, and completed his training in pediatrics as senior resident at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center.
Zab and Paulette Lavigne were married in 1957. He joined the faculty of Rockefeller University in the Laboratory of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology in 1960.
His entire career at Rockefeller was spent studying the immune response to bacterial infection and how it leads to secondary autoimmune disorders. He had a special interest in streptococcal infection and its relation to rheumatic fever, kidney disease, and a number of pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders.
Zab became professor emeritus in 2000. He loved music; he took cello lessons from Hiao-Tsiun Ma, Yo-Yo Ma’s father, and helped found the Children’s Orchestra Society.
Zab died Aug. 17, 2017. At the time of his death, he was survived by his wife, Paulette; their children John Jr., Christopher, and Valerie; and six grandchildren. Paulette Zabriskie died Feb. 23, 2018.