Harold A. Scheraga
Cornell University

Memories of Professor Harold A. Scheraga

"Chou meet Fasman!" he announced
to a roomful of applause as if we're
enacting Stanley meeting Livingstone
at Cornell Baker Lab Symposium

honoring his 65th birthday.
Fasman had lost in touch with me
after I moved to California—
great seeing each other again.

When I applied to Fasman for postdoc
position in 1970, Scheraga said
"You better do well otherwise
my recommendations are worthless."

Professor Applequist at Columbia
told me to apply to Cornell— study
with source in proteins— Scheraga,
also with Fasman as postdoctorate.

He said "Top researcher in proteins
is Scheraga and polyamino acids
expert is Fasman. No wonder you're
the first in protein predictive method."

Scheraga gave me Todd Fellowship (1965)
after receiving 95% in Quantum Mechanics
and 100% in his Protein Structure course
so I could focus more in laboratory research.

When Scheraga saw the literature books
on my Lab bookshelf, he said "You should
spend 100% time in science, otherwise don't
waste my time, I'll have to let you go!"

When I failed my first Ph.D. oral exam,
Scheraga gave me a second chance. Mom was
nervous, opened her Chinese Bible at random—
"This is my Son whom I'm well pleased". I passed.

After Dad died in 2000, Scheraga was like
a father to me. I would compose "Number"
web pages for his birthdays and send poems
each year which he'd acknowledge right away.

While composing "Number 99" for his
99th birthday, learned he died August 1,
but his creative spirit lives on—
always inspiring me in life.

— Peter Y. Chou
    Mountain View, 9-22-2020
My Chemistry Mentors

Jon B. Applequist (1932-2017)
Chemistry mentor (1962-1963)
Columbia University

Harold A. Scheraga (1921-2020)
Chemistry mentor (1963-1970)
Cornell University

Gerald D. Fasman (1925-2003)
Biochemistry mentor (1970-1977)
Brandeis University