Skip to main content

Sherman, Irwin W. 1933- (Irwin Sherman, Irwin William Sherman)

Sherman, Irwin W. 1933- (Irwin Sherman, Irwin William Sherman)


Born February 12, 1933, in New York, NY; son of Morris and Anna Sherman; married Vilia Gay Turner, August 25, 1966; children: Jonathan Turner, Alexa Joy. Education: City College of New York, B.S., 1954; Northwestern University, M.S., 1959, Ph.D. 1960. Hobbies and other interests: Painting, travel.


Home—Del Mar, CA. E-mail—[email protected]; [email protected]


Writer, editor, biologist, zoologist, researcher, administrator, and educator. University of California, Riverside, assistant professor, 1962-67, associate professor, 1967-70; professor of biology, 1970-2005, emeritus professor of zoology, 2005—, chairman of biology department, 1974-79, dean of College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, 1981-88, executive vice chancellor, 1993-94, president of faculty senate, 1998-2002. Scripps Research Institute, visiting scientist, 2006. Woods Hole marine biology laboratory, Woods Hole, MA, instructor, 1963-68. Military service: Served in U.S. Army, 1954-56.


American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, American Society of Protozoology, American Society of Parasitology, Sigma Xi.


United States Public Health Service fellow, Rockefeller Institute, 1960-62; Guggenheim fellow, 1967; National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Medical Research, fellow, 1973-74; Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research fellow, 1986; Wellcome Trust Lecturer, British Society of Parasitology, 1987; National Institutes of Health grant, 2000; Scripps Research Institute fellow, 1991, 2003-05.


(With Vilia G. Sherman) Biology: A Human Approach, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1975, 4th edition, 1989.

(With Vilia G. Sherman) The Invertebrates: Function and Form: A Laboratory Guide, 2nd edition, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1976.

(Editor) Malaria: Parasite Biology, Pathogenesis, and Protection, American Society of Microbiology (ASM) Press (Washington, DC), 1998.

(Editor) Molecular Approaches to Malaria, ASM Press (Washington, DC), 2005.

The Power of Plagues, ASM Press (Washington, DC), 2006.

Twelve Diseases That Changed Our World, ASM Press (Washington, DC), 2007.


Irwin W. Sherman is an author, editor, zoologist, and a retired professor of zoology at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). He has worked as both an educator and an administrator in a nearly four-decade career at UCR. An expert on infectious diseases, particularly malaria, Sherman is a dedicated researcher whose work has focused on the infectious process of malaria. He often writes and edits books on subjects related to epidemiology, disease prevention, and the role of infectious diseases in history and society. In Molecular Approaches to Malaria, edited by Sherman, contributors offer twenty-seven chapters of technical information on Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria in humans. Essays cover topics such as genetics, human immune system responses, host-parasite relationships, and more. Contributors also discuss the parasite's life cycle and offer a historical perspective on research and efforts to combat the disease.

The purpose of The Power of Plagues, observed José G. Rigau-Pérez in Emerging Infectious Diseases, is to "make the science of epidemic diseases accessible and understandable." Sherman offers a wealth of historical information on plagues and infectious diseases, including information on the importance they had in the past, how they were identified and understood, and how they may affect human society in the future. He looks at famous historical plagues, including the bubonic plague, and considers AIDS a modern-day plague. He considers the effects and nature of specific communicable diseases, including malaria, smallpox, typhoid fever, cholera, leprosy, tuberculosis, West Nile virus, mad cow disease, influenza, and more. Sherman looks not only at the medical and social history of these diseases, but at how they have influenced art, movies, literature, and culture. Sherman is also greatly concerned with how plagues and diseases can be prevented, and he delves into issues related to the human immune system and the development of vaccines and medical treatments. Rigau-Pérez called the book a "concise and clear account of the biologic and historical determinants of epidemic diseases." A Sci-Tech Book News reviewer remarked that Sherman offers readers a "context and practical examples of what plagues can do."



Clinical Infectious Diseases, November 15, 2006, Karen L. McClean, review of The Power of Plagues, p. 1374.

Emerging Infectious Diseases, October, 2006, José G. Rigau-Pérez, review of The Power of Plagues, p. 1625.

JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, July 5, 2006, Stephen B. Greenberg, "Infectious Disease History," review of The Power of Plagues, p. 101.

Quarterly Review of Biology, December, 2006, Ken Eames, review of The Power of Plagues, p. 427.

SciTech Book News, March, 1999, review of Malaria: Parasite Biology, Pathogenesis, and Protection, p. 90; December, 2005, review of Molecular Approaches to Malaria; June, 2006, review of The Power of Plagues.

Science Books & Films, July-August, 2006, Elaine Young, review of The Power of Plagues, p. 161.


Fiat Lux, (June, 2000), Kathy Barton, profile of Irwin Sherman.

University of California, Riverside, Department of Biology Web site, (August 4, 2007), biography of Irwin W. Sherman.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Sherman, Irwin W. 1933- (Irwin Sherman, Irwin William Sherman)." Contemporary Authors. . 17 Sep. 2019 <>.

"Sherman, Irwin W. 1933- (Irwin Sherman, Irwin William Sherman)." Contemporary Authors. . (September 17, 2019).

"Sherman, Irwin W. 1933- (Irwin Sherman, Irwin William Sherman)." Contemporary Authors. . Retrieved September 17, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.