G. Milton Shy Visiting Professorship

Dr. G. Milton Shy photo

The G. Milton Shy Visiting Professorship was established in honor of the memory and accomplishments of Dr. Milton Shy, who passed away on September 25, 1967, at the age of 47. It is a joint week-long professorship at the NIH, University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University.

Dr. G. Milton Shy received his MD from the University of Oregon and completed his medical training at the National Hospital at Queen Square in London and the Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University. He began his academic career as an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of Colorado and while there also accepted the challenge of becoming the first Clinical Director of the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness (NINDB), now the National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). During his 10 years at the NINDB he established many traditions of scholarship–one of which was the welcoming of visiting scientists from anywhere in the world for collaborative work.

Dr. Shy made numerous critical contributions to research – in his lab, through his service on the study sections of the NINDB, and as a member of the Editorial Board of Neurology. He was a pioneer in using electron microscopy to study muscle diseases and is credited with discovering five previously unrecognized diseases: central core disease, magaconial myopathy, pleoconial myopathy, myotubular myopathy and nemaline myopathy. His research was not limited to neuromuscular disorders; he also advanced radioisotopic localization of brain tumors and described the association of central nervous system disease and orthostatic hypotension –leading to the eponym Shy-Drager syndrome.

Dr. Shy’s devotion to scientific inquiry was matched by his passion for patient care. He demanded and provided an uncompromising standard of excellence. With apparently inexhaustible energy, he was also fiercely dedicated to education -becoming an inspiration to students, residents and staff of all the medical schools in the area.

Dr. Shy was lost at the height of his creativity but his legacy lives on –his former residents and fellows (and his Columbia-trained son, Michael Shy) now fill dozens of full-time academic appointments in neurology throughout the world.

Upcoming 2023 G. Milton Shy Visiting Professorship Lecture:
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