David Shugar, Ph. D., Professor

founder and many years' head of Division of Biophysics and an architect of Polish School of Molecular Biophysics

Research and academic positions; the main achievements

Professor David Shugar was born in 1915, Józefów, Poland.

After completing his studies and getting the PH.D. degree at Faculty of Physics, McGill University (Canada) he made research in biophysics in canadian laboratories, i. a. in great ultracentrifuge project. In 1948-1950 he worked in L. Pasteur Institute (Paris) on enzyme kinetics and machanisms (UV and thermal inactivation, photosensybility), and in Nuclear Physics centre at University of Brucel on spectral properties of nucleic acids building blocks and proteins. According to prof. Leopold Infeld's suggestion he came to Poland and took a head position of Biochemical Department in State Institute of Hygiene (Warsaw), where he undertook investigations of digestive enzyme and staining of bacteria. In 1954 he commenced parallely work at Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics Polish Academy of Sciences, and in 1965 founded Kathedry of biophysics at Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw. Prof. D. Shugar created Polish school of molecular biophysics dealing with several topics like mutagenesis, structure-funtion relationship of nucleoside analogues of potential antiviral and anticancer properties, and protein kinases. He is an author and co-author of over 300 publications, cited more than 8000 times. Many of his former students are now Ph. D fellows and professors who develop the same and new topics in molecular biophysics and biology.

Honours and memberships

  • Personal State Prize of 2nd Rank, 1966
  • Honoris Causa Doctorate of University of Genf, Belgium, 1969
  • Finsen Gold Medal of International Photobiological Society, 1976
  • Prize of Minister of Science and Education of 1st Rank, 1987
  • Silver Medal of European Biophysical Society, 1988
  • Honoris Causa Doctorate of University of University of Warsaw,1995
  • Prize of Prime Minister, 2006
  • Medal of Polish Academy of Sciences 2006
  • membership of: Polish Academy of Sciences from 1983, American Chemical Society from 1968, American Association for Antiviral Research from 1988; The Royal Society of Canada from 1999
  • membership of editorial boards: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Anticancer Drug Design, Photochemistry and Photobiology, Antiviral Chemistry and Chemotherapy

Selected publications

  1. Pi JB, Bai YS, Reece JM, Williams J, Liu DX, Freeman ML, Fahl WE, Shugar D et al., Molecular mechanism of human Nrf2 activation and degradation: Role of sequential phosphorylation by protein kinase CK2, FREE RADICAL BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE 42, 1797-1806, 2007.
  2. Wierzchowski J, Sepiol J, Sulikowski D, Kierdaszuk B, Shugar D, Fluorescence emission properties of 8-azaxanthine and its N-alkyl derivatives: Excited-state proton transfer, and potential applications in enzymology, JOURNAL OF PHOTOCHEMISTRY AND PHOTOBIOLOGY A-CHEMISTRY 179, 276-282, 2006.
  3. Ginalski K, Grochowski P, Lesyng B, Shugar D, DFT calculations and parameterization of the approximate valence bond method to describe the phosphoryl transfer reaction in a model system INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF QUANTUM CHEMISTRY 90, 1129-1139, 2002.
  4. Bzowska A, Kulikowska E, Shugar D Purine nucleoside phosphorylases: properties, functions, and clinical aspects PHARMACOLOGY & THERAPEUTICS 88, 349-425, 2000.
  5. Shugar D. Viral and host-cell protein kinases: Enticing antiviral targets and relevance of nucleoside, and viral thymidine, kinases PHARMACOLOGY & THERAPEUTICS 82, 315-335, 1999
  6. Koellner G, Luic M, Shugar D, et al., Crystal structure of calf spleen purine nucleoside phosphorylase in a complex with hypoxanthine at 2.15 angstrom resolution JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY 265, 202-216,1997.
  7. Kierdaszuk B, ModrakWojcik A, Shugar D, Binding of phosphate and sulfate anions by purine nucleoside phosphorylase from E-coli: Ligand-dependent quenching of enzyme intrinsic fluorescence, BIOPHYSICAL CHEMISTRY 63 107-118, 1997.
  8. Felczak K, Drabikowska AK, Vilpo JA, Kulikowski, T, Shugar D, 6-substituted and 5,6-disubstituted derivatives of uridine: Stereoselective synthesis, interaction with uridine phosphorylase, and in vitro antitumor activity JOURNAL OF MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY 39, 1720-1728, 1996
  9. Stolarski, R., Kierdaszuk, B., Hagberg, C.E. & Shugar, D., Mechanism of Hydroxylamine Mutagenesis: Tautomeric Shift and Proton Exchange between the Promutagen N6-Methoxyadenosine and Cytidine, BIOCHEMISTRY 26: 4332-4337, 1987;
  10. Stolarski R, Hagberg CE, Shugar D, Studies on the Dynamic Syn-Anti Equilibrium in Purine Nucleosides and Nucleotides with the Aid of 1H and 13C NMR Spectroscopy, EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF BIOCHEMEMISTRY 138, 187-192, 1984.
  11. Book "Photochemistry of proteins and nucleic acids", współautor A.D. McLaren, 1964
  12. Textbook "Zastosowanie izotopów w biologii", przy współpracy z K.L. Wierzchowskim i J. Meduskim, 1955.

Photo Gallery of Professor's 90th birthday