Y. Fulmer Shealy, PhD, a chemist whose work contributed to the development of a treatment for melanoma, died July 3, 2019, at the age of 96.
Shealy was born in 1923 in Chapin, South Carolina. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of South Carolina, and a PhD in organic chemistry from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.He completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in chemistry at the University of Minnesota.
After working at the Office of Strategic Services (a predecessor to the CIA), Shealy worked for Upjohn Company, then joined the Southern Research Institute (SRI) in Birmingham, Alabama, where he would remain for more than 40 years. Shealy’s research included anticancer, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and cancer chemopreventive agents. His work contributed to the development of several drugs, most notably dacarbazine, which is used to treat melanoma and is the basis for many later cancer drugs.
Shealy joined the AACR in 1992 and most recently held Emeritus status. He was the first recipient of SRI’s Scientific and Engineering Excellence Award. He was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was a member of the New York Academy of Sciences and numerous other chemical and medical societies. He published 157 articles in scientific journals, including Scientific American, the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, and the Journal of Molecular Pharmacology, and was an inventor in many issued patents.