Philip Irving Marcus, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology and renowned virus and interferon researcher, died on Sept. 1, at the age of 86.
He made many seminal discoveries in the field of viral infections and the role of interferon in those infections.
Marcus spent the past 44 years on the faculty at UConn, and was known to many as a compassionate professor who donated his time unselfishly to colleagues and students through his research, teaching, and service.
He was born June 3, 1927 in Springfield, Mass., the son of Julius Marcus and Marley Spier (of Sheffield, England) and the brother of Maxine Altshuler, and Emil Marcus, all of whom predeceased him.
In 1945, he graduated Springfield Technical High School, the STEM system of its time. During World War II, while in high school, he worked at the great forges in the Springfield Armory immortalized by Longfellow’s poem, “The Arsenal at Springfield.” He enlisted in the Army Specialized Training Reserve Program, and was assigned in 1945 to attend UConn in Storrs, Conn. After six months each at UConn and the University of Maine-Orono, he had earned two years of college credit.