Oral history interview with Stewart H. Shuman
Stewart H. Shuman was born in Queens, New York; his only sibling is a brother, who is ten years older. His family loosely observed religious strictures, including keeping kosher, because his maternal grandmother insisted upon it, but when Shuman's grandmother died the practices died away. When Shuman began Hebrew School in preparation for his Bar Mitzvah, he became briefly entranced by the Talmud, but he soon lost interest in religion. His mother attempted to inculcate cultural values by taking him to the library, to museums, and to the opera. He still loves to read but is only just learning to appreciate opera. He has loved both math and science from an early age. He attended a high school that offered to select students a very intensive, advanced program in the sciences; there he was in a very exciting biology class, taught by an excellent teacher whom he still remembers. He also took a college-level class while still in high school. During summers he attended a National Science Foundation program that he eventually was invited to teach as well. He graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Wesleyan University and completed his MD/PhD degree at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. He began his career at Massachusetts General Hospital; then he moved to the Laboratory of Viral Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). From there he joined Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, where he remains today. He has won awards from the American Cancer Society as well as the Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences grant. He has published many articles about his work with capping enzyme in vaccinia virus and covalent catalysis.
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