Irwin Sherman

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Irwin W. Sherman
Born (1933-02-12) February 12, 1933 (age 86)[1]
ResidenceDel Mar, California
B.S., City College of New York (1954)
TitleProfessor Emeritus of Biology[2]
Vilia Gay Turner
(m. 1966; died 2009)
Military career
Service/branchUnited States Army
RankPrivate First Class

Irwin William Sherman (born February 12, 1933) is a biology professor emeritus. He taught at University of California, Riverside for 42 years and retired as executive vice chancellor. Sherman is known for his studies of malaria.

Early life[edit]

Sherman, the son of Russian immigrants Morris and Anna Sherman, graduated from James Monroe High School and enrolled in City College of New York (CCNY) with the goal of becoming a high school biology teacher. Influenced by his professors (James Dawson, William Tavolga, and Herman Spieth particularly) Sherman pursued a graduate degree at University of Florida under the tutelage of W.C. Allee. Sherman's studies were interrupted when he was drafted into the Army as a medical technician. After training at Fort Dix, Fort Sam Houston, and Valley Forge Army Hospital he was sent to overseas to work in army laboratories in Austria and Germany. Upon completion of his military service Sherman chose to teach high school in Yonkers rather than return to graduate school in Florida. While taking graduate courses through CCNY Sherman spent the summer of 1957 at Marine Biological Laboratory where he met his future wife, Vilia Gay Turner.[3][4][5] In pursuit of his growing interest in protozoology, Sherman enrolled at Northwestern University to earn his doctorate.[6]


In 1962 Sherman was recruited by his former professor Herman Spieth to join the faculty of University of California, Riverside as an assistant professor. In 1966 Sherman was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in the field of molecular and cellular biology.[7] He was promoted to associate professor in 1967 and full professor in 1970. For many years Sherman taught a basic course in parasitology for pre-med students.[8] Sherman reports that while teaching science courses for non-majors, he gave lectures dressed in costume to impersonate famous scientists to increase student interest.[9] By 1981 Sherman became the dean of the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and would go on to serve as executive vice chancellor of UCR.[1] After retiring from teaching in 2005 Sherman joined the Scripps Research Institute and at present is a Visiting Professor in the School of Medicine at the University of California at San Diego.[10]


Sherman was the author of several books and more than a hundred academic papers. Sherman is most known for popular science books about microbiology with particular emphasis on malariology.[11] In 2005 Sherman edited a textbook, Molecular approaches to malaria, noted for its inclusion of material following the 2002 complete genomic mapping of Plasmodium falciparum.[12][13] Sherman's 2007 book Twelve Diseases that Changed Our World has been commented upon for its approachable style, having been written for novices and casual readers rather than academic audiences.[14][15][16] Similarly, his 2009 The Elusive Malaria Vaccine has been reviewed as being engaging for the lay audience as it describes the history of malaria, particularly in the search for a vaccine.[17][18][19] Described by one reviewer as "a story for all curious readers", Sherman's 2011 Magic Bullets to Conquer Malaria was criticized for a lack of either scientific or historical rigor although the book tells interesting stories of malariology.[20]

  • Molecular approaches to malaria. Washington, D.C.: ASM Press. 2005. ISBN 978-1-55581-330-7. OCLC 59280201.
  • Twelve Diseases that Changed Our World. ASM Press. 2007. ISBN 978-1-55581-466-3. OCLC 141178241.
  • The Elusive Malaria Vaccine: Miracle Or Mirage?. ASM Press. 2009. ISBN 978-1-55581-515-8. OCLC 300397208.
  • Magic Bullets to Conquer Malaria: From Quinine to Qinghaosu. ASM Press. 2011. ISBN 978-1-55581-543-1. OCLC 710888834.
  • The Malaria Genome Projects: Promise, Progress, and Prospects. World Scientific. 2012. ISBN 978-1-84816-903-6. OCLC 809409769.


  1. ^ a b c d Sherman, Irwin W. 1933–. Contemporary Authors. January 1, 2008. Archived from the original on March 15, 2016 – via HighBeam.
  2. ^ "Professor releases book on Malaria Project". The Press-Enterprise. August 22, 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  3. ^ Sherman, Irwin (2011). Reflections on a Century of Malaria Biochemistry. Advances in parasitology. Academic Press. pp. 49–50. ISBN 978-0-08-092183-9.
  4. ^ Gonzalez, Blanca (December 29, 2009). "Homemaker later became Riverside lawyer, judge; 68". U-T San Diego. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  5. ^ "SHERMAN – Deaths Announcements". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  6. ^ "Becoming a Parasitologist: A Personal History of Irwin W. Sherman".
  7. ^ "Search Results". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
  8. ^ Erickson, Jan (May 22, 1998). "Transcription of Oral History Interview With Ivan J. Thomason" (PDF). University of California, Riverside: 33.
  9. ^ "Irwin Sherman". American Society for Microbiology.
  10. ^ "IRWIN W. SHERMAN". University of California, Riverside. February 2013.
  11. ^ "New book tells story of 10-year-old malaria project". University of California. August 17, 2012.
  12. ^ Crabb, Brendan S. (2006). "Book Review". Immunology and Cell Biology. 84 (3): 332. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1711.2006.01438.x.
  13. ^ T Planche (November 2006). "Molecular approaches to malaria". Journal of Clinical Pathology. 59 (11): 1228. doi:10.1136/jcp.2005.035782. PMC 1860520.
  14. ^ Sehdev, Paul S.; Sehdev, Paul S. (2008). "Twelve Diseases That Changed Our World By Irwin W. Sherman". Clinical Infectious Diseases. 47 (2): 299. doi:10.1086/589292.
  15. ^ Shulman, Matthew (January 3, 2008). "12 Diseases That Altered History". U.S. News & World Report.
  16. ^ White, Herbert (February 18, 2009). "Twelve Diseases That Changed Our World". History in Review.
  17. ^ Feagin, Jean E. (2009). "Seeking Success—The Search for an Effective Malaria Vaccine" (PDF). Applied Biosafety. 14 (4): 202.
  18. ^ Atmar, Robert L. (2010). "The Elusive Malaria Vaccine: Miracle or Mirage? By Irwin W. Sherman" (PDF). Clinical Infectious Diseases. 50 (6): 941. doi:10.1086/650734.
  19. ^ Hoots, Rita (July 2009). "The Elusive Malaria Vaccine: Miracle or Mirage?". NSTA Recommends: 64 – via EBSCOHost.
  20. ^ Robert, Anne (2011). "Magic Bullets to Conquer Malaria". Angewandte Chemie International Edition. 50 (34): 7731–7732. doi:10.1002/anie.201103861.