Hyun—Ariel Cahill Hollinshead Hyun, 90, on September 10, 2019, at Medford Leas in Medford, N.J. Ariel was born on August 24, 1929, in Allentown, Pa., and grew up outside Pittsburgh in Bethel Park, Pa. At 15, she read Paul de Kruif’s seminal book Microbe Hunters, about the lives of early bacteriologists, and used money from her summer jobs to buy a Zeiss microscope. As a student at Swarthmore College, she met Montgomery K. Hyun, who had arrived in the United States from war-torn Korea in 1947, and they married. With a bachelor’s from Ohio University and a master’s and doctorate in pharmacology from George Washington University (GW), she completed post-doctoral work in virology and epidemiology at Baylor University Medical Center, working closely with Dr. Joseph Melnick. She did notable early work on poliomyelitis. A lifelong Quaker, she was a member of Friends Meeting of Washington (D.C.) for many years.
Going by Hollinshead in her professional life, in 1959 she joined the GW faculty, teaching classes in pharmacology, virology, immunology, and oncology, and in 1964 she established the Laboratory for Virus and Cancer Research. In 1976 the Joint Board of Medical Colleges named her USA Bicentennial Medical Woman of the Year for distinction in applying basic research to human diseases, and she received the Marion Spencer Fay Award for distinction, innovation, and leadership in medicine and science. In 1980, the Ministers of Health of Italy, Germany, and England awarded her the Star of Europe Medal, and President Jimmy Carter honored her at the White House. She published more than 275 articles; directed 17 clinical trials involving 19 forms of human cancer, including lung, colon, and ovarian; discovered purine and pyrimidine analogs for treating cancer and viral infection; and was one of the first to develop and test cancer neo-antigen antibodies to induce long-lasting cell-mediated immunity. Regarded by peers as the mother of immunotherapy, she and the University of Ottawa’s T.H.M. Stewart collaborated to first identify induced dormancy in human lung tumors in a study in which select vaccinated patients survived longer than 12 years. She was national president of Graduate Women in Science and a fellow and member of American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Much of her groundbreaking research on tumor antigens, cancer vaccines, and immunotherapy remains foundationally significant. Throughout her career and retirement, countless doctors and scientists sought her advice. She received the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine in 1985 and again in 1996, and eventually became professor of medicine emerita at GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
She loved to sing and play the piano, singing in community choirs well into her 80s, and often spent weekends with family and friends in Harpers Ferry, W.V., painting wildflowers, hummingbirds, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. A loving mother and grandmother, she once said in an interview that although a scientist’s life is demanding, with many 12-hour workdays, she enjoyed both her work and what she hurried home to afterward. When she moved to Medford Leas, she joined Medford Meeting.
She was preceded in death in 2016 by her beloved husband and best friend, Montgomery Hyun, called Monty, an antitrust lawyer and distinguished chief judge of the Federal Trade Commission. She is survived by two children, William Hyun and Christopher Hyun (Maria Pallante); three grandchildren; many beloved nieces and nephews; and countless friends, colleagues, and former students. Donations may be made to Graduate Women in Science, P.O. Box 7, Mullica Hill, NJ 08062, or through gwis.org.