Myron Pollycove (BS '42)

Obituary: Myron Pollycove

April 10, 1921 - Aug. 4, 2013

Friend, scholar, scientist, teacher, father, grandfather, and greatgrandfather. Dr. Myron Pollycove passed away peacefully in his home at the age of 92.

Myron was born in Nogales, Arizona. He married the love of his life, pianist Rosalyn Linden, in 1941. He served as a US Naval Officer during WWII, and afterward attended UCSF School of Medicine, followed by internal medicine internship and residency at Harvard, specializing in hematology. Returning to the SF Bay Area in the mid 1950's, he worked collaboratively at UC Berkeley Donner Medical Physics Lab and the Lawrence Biological laboratory, developing radioisotopes for use in medical diagnostics and treatment. He was recognized for his original research in iron metabolism which he taught enthusiastically to decades of medical students. A full professor at UCSF Medical School, he became Director and Chief of Clinical Laboratories and the Department of Nuclear Medicine, San Francisco General Hospital, where the 1991 newly- built "Myron Pollycove Nuclear Medicine Lab" was dedicated. Automation of the clinical laboratory and computerization of reports were among his early innovations in laboratory medicine. His later work centered upon "hormesis," the health-enhancing effects of exposure to low levels of radiation. Upon retiring from the UCSF faculty in 1991, he accepted a position as research fellow at the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Washington, DC, until his retirement in 2005.

Myron and Rosalyn were married for 68 years and had four children. They shared a love of music, fine art, travel, and anthroposophy. Myron's passion for his work, and energetic, grateful state of mind guided him and inspired those around him until his death.

Dr. Pollycove was preceded in death by Rosalyn and their eldest daughter, Candy. He is survived by two daughters and a son, five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Anthroposophical Society of North America. A private memorial service will be held.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Sept. 22, 2013