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Rose Sheinin (née Shuber) was born on May 18, 1930 in Toronto. She married Joseph Sheinin, a professional engineer, in 1951 and they had three children, David, Lisa and Rachel. She died in Toronto on March 20, 2009. She was educated at Harbord Collegiate Institute. She attended the University of Toronto, where she received an Honours BA in Science in 1951, an MA in Biochemistry in 1953 and a PhD in Biochemistry in 1956.
She was a respected scientist (teaching and research), feminist and university administrator. She taught at the University of Toronto for 25 years in the Departments of Microbiology, Medical Biophysics, and in Microbiology and Parasitology. She was the Chair of Microbiology and Parasitology 1975-1981 and became Vice-Dean of the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto, 1984-1989. In 1989, she moved to Montreal when she was appointed Professor in the Department of Biology and Vice-Rector, Academic at Concordia University.
A distinguished teacher in physiology and biochemistry, she was also an internationally respected researcher, a specialist in cancer research and DNA replication. For more than 30 years the Medical Research Council of Canada and the national Cancer Institute of Canada funded her research. She had more than one hundred scholarly publications in refereed journals. In addition to her other research work, Rose Sheinin was interested in the history of women in medicine and Canadian women scientists and in the development of science policy in Canada in relation to women. In addition to her many research awards and prizes, Dr. Sheinin received honorary degrees from Mount Saint Vincent University in 1985 and Acadia University in 1987. She was also the recipient of the Government of Canada’s Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal in 1978 and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1981.
During her tenure as Vice-Rector Academic at Concordia, Rose Sheinin played a major role in the establishment of comprehensive academic planning. She championed and oversaw the establishment of the School of Graduate Studies in June 1992, improved research infrastructure to provide better support for researchers and promoted the active participation and advancement of women and other minorities in all aspects of the Concordia community.
Her term was also marked with a period of serious financial compression as well as the trauma of the Fabrikant Affair in which four Concordia faculty members were murdered in August 1992 by engineering professor Valery Fabrikant.
Dr. Sheinin left her administrative position in June 1994 and continued teaching biology at Concordia until she retired in 2000. She eventually returned to Toronto, where she remained active in women’s equality issues and Yiddish culture.
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