David Shugar (1915 - 2015)

Magdalena Fikus


David Shugar was born on the 10th of April 1915 in Poland. In 1918 his family immigrated to Canada. In Canada Shugar attended school and later studied Physics at McGill University in Montreal, receiving his Master’s degree in 1936 and a Doctorate in 1940. Drafted for military service during the war. In 1948 he and his wife, Grace, left for Europe, where he worked for scientific institutions in Paris and Brussels, and from 1952 in Poland. In Poland he was employed by the National Institute of Hygiene (until 1966), the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences (1954-1985) and the University of Warsaw’s Faculty of Physics (1965-1980). He published scientific papers in the areas of: biochemistry, physical chemistry and biophysics of nucleic acids and their analogues, mutagenesis, the search for potential anti-cancer and antiviral drugs, modelling biological processes. 400 publications, 10 000 citations. Thesis advisor on dozens of doctoral dissertations and hundreds of Master’s theses. Founder of the first Polish Biophysics Chair. Initiator of the first Polish Science Festival. Received many awards and honours, including the Commander’s Cross of Polonia Restituta, as well as Doctor honoris causa degrees from Ghent University (1969) and the University of Warsaw (1985). He passed away on the 31st of October 2015, in Warsaw.


David Shugar; scientific biography; molecular biophysics; teaching; Science Festival

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