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Elie Alexis Shneour

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December 11, 1925 - April 14, 2015 Elie Shneour was born in France on December 11, 1925. The son of Zalman and Salomea Shneour, he had one sibling -- Renee Shneour, who later became Spanish dancer Laura Toledo. Shneour was raised in Neuilly sur-Seine, a suburb of Paris. His family was of Jewish heritage, his father having emigrated from Czarist Russia in the early 1900's and his mother from Belgium. In 1940, following Nazi Germany's occupation of France, Shneour and his family escaped to Spain, eventually arriving at Ellis Island in New York in 1941. Still a teenager, Shneour and his sister attended Cherry Lawn School in New York. Upon graduation, he joined the United States Army, rising to the rank of Captain. Shneour attended undergraduate school at Bard College in New York, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. He then traveled to Berkeley, California, where he received his Masters in Biochemistry from UC Berkeley. At Berkeley, Shneour met his first wife, Joan Brewster. They were married and had two children, Mark and Alan. Shneour moved on to UCLA in Los Angeles, where he received his PhD in Biochemistry. Shneour began his career with a number of notable appointments in academia. He worked at Stanford University as a scientific researcher and lecturer, moving later to the University of Utah, where he served as Assistant Professor and received the Distinguished Teacher award. Shneour then worked at the prestigious City of Hope National Medical Center in Los Angeles where he continued his scientific research. In 1971, Shneour moved to La Jolla with his family, where he served for several years as Director of Research for Calbiochem. Ultimately, Shneour formed an independent advisory company, Biosystems Associates (later Biosystems Research Institutes), which provided scientific consulting services to private industry and government. He ran the business until 2014, when he retired. Shneour was also a prolific writer, authoring numerous articles on scientific matters and political discourse. He published several books, including "Life Beyond the Earth," "The Malnourished Mind" (the title for which was given by his then 13-year old son, Mark) and also completed a yet to-be-published manuscript on 20th-century history, tentatively titled "Margins of Error." Shneour spoke regularly at international scientific symposia, and received a number of commendations on his contributions to science. Among his many distinctions, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Bard College. A lifelong gourmet and cook, Shneour especially loved dishes of his French homeland, including mussels in white wine sauce and Crepes Suzette. A big fan of traveler/chef Anthony Bourdain, he enjoyed regular outings for fresh oysters even in his twilight years. He was also a serious photographer who once owned the Hasselblad camera used by NASA on the moon and built a darkroom in his La Jolla home to fulfill his passion. Shneour met his second wife, Polly Puterbaugh, in the late 1980's. They married in San Diego in 1990, and shared 20 good years together. Shneour passed away on April 14, 2015, at the age of 89. He is survived by his sister, Renee, his two children, Mark and Alan, and his three grandchildren, Collin, Luke and Trey.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on May 1, 2015
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