Lives of the fellows

George Milton Shy

b.30 September 1919 d.28 September 1967
MD Oregon(1943) MRCP Lond(1948) MSc McGill(1949) FRCP(1966)

G. Milton Shy was born in Colorado in 1919, graduating from the University of Oregon School of Medicine in 1943. After internship in Oregon, he served as an assistant resident in internal medicine at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, and then entered the US Army Medical Corps and was wounded in Italy. Subsequently, from 1947-1949, he served as a house officer and first assistant to the Medical Research Council, National Hospital, Queen’s Square, London, working closely with E.A. Carmichael in the MRC Neurological Research Unit at the National. During that time he was admitted to Membership of the College of Physicians (1948). After further training in research at the Montreal Neurological Institute and spending two years on the faculty of the University of Colorado in Denver, he was appointed, in 1953, Clinical Director of the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. In 1962, he was appointed Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Weeks before his premature death, he moved to Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons to assume the Chair in Neurology and Directorship of the New York Neurological Institute.

During his training and early faculty years, Milton Shy demonstrated special interest in disorders of muscle. He stimulated many others towards an interest in muscle disease, and while in Bethesda, published an Atlas of Muscle Pathology with J. Godwin Greenfield and others, the cornerstone on which much of his further work was to be based. At Bethesda, he also headed a major project in developing isotope brain scanning, in which he later maintained an interest.

He took advantage of newly available histochemical methods and electron microscopy for evaluation of muscle biopsy, and established the presence of a number of rare myopathies, such as nemaline myopathy and central core disease.

His outstanding abilities as a teacher and his insistence on seeking an understanding of the factual basis of neurological disease stimulated colleagues and resulted in the entry of many talented students and physicians into the field of neurology.

In 1945 he married Evelyn Doreen, daughter of Harry W. Henderson, and they had two children: a son and a daughter.

DH Silberberg

[Lancet, 1967, 2, 842]

(Volume VI, page 406)

<< Back to List