Wacław Tadeusz Szybalski (1921–2020)

Ewa Łojkowska


Wacław Tadeusz Szybalski (1921–2020) was born in the city of Lwów. Gradueted  from School of Chemistry of Technical University of Lwów (Politechnika Lwowska). In 1945 he obtained diploma of chemical engineering from Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice and PhD in 1949 from Gdańsk University of Technology. He left Poland in 1949, first for Denmark and later USA. From 1951–1955 Wacław Szybalski joined the famous Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY, as a Staff Member. From 1960 to 2003 he has position of Professor of Oncology at the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research of the University of Wisconsin- Madison, USA. Prof. Wacław Szybalski published over 260 scientific papers, covering many areas of biology, including bacterial genetics, mechanisms of drug resistance and radiosensitization, mutagenesis, multi-drug therapy, molecular biology of bacteriophages, particularly phage lambda, genetic engineering, gene therapy, synthetic biology and DNA biochemistry/sequencing. Prof. Wacław Szybalski retired in 2003, and held the rank of Emeritus Professor of Oncology and of Genetics since then. During all years in USA Wacław Szybalski relations with Poland, especially Gdańsk remained very strong. He was a Mentor of several Polish postdocs. Prof. Wacław Szybalski received many science awards over the years, was a Foreign Member of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Polish Academy of Art and Sciences. In 2011, he received the highest honor awarded in Poland, becoming a Knight of the Order of Polonia Restituta, First Class, presented by President of Poland Bronisław Komorowski. He has also received five honorary doctorates from leading universities in Poland.


Wacław Szybalski; Polish scientist and philanthropist; Lwów; Gdańsk; Madison

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