David L. Williams, Ph.D Lectureship

David L. Williams attended the University of California at Berkley where he received his A.B. in Zoology in 1967. He then went on to the University of Illinois at Urbana for his doctoral training where he worked in the laboratory of Jack Gorski. After a short stint as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco, Dave joined the faculty of the Dept. of Pharmacological Sciences at the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1974 as one its founding members. He remained in his position at Stony Brook for the next 30 years, becoming a full professor in 1986 and serving at various times as his department’s vice-chair and interim chair.

Although the major emphasis during Dave’s early career was on the regulation of avian yolk protein biogenesis by steroid hormones, these studies soon brought him into the mainstream of lipoprotein and atherosclerosis research. Among Dave’s discoveries is that apoE could achieve protection from atherosclerosis in mice independently of its role as a ligand for lipoprotein receptors. These studies created a bridge between lipoprotein metabolism and vascular wall biology that continues to be the subject of broad inquiry.

Dave also spent considerable time and effort training the next generation of scientists, and he excelled in this area. A total of 29 of his trainees have gone on to productive careers in academia and industry, including 13 faculty members at 10 different academic institutions in the United States and abroad. In appreciation of his engaging and effective teaching style, Dave was awarded the Aesculapius Award for Outstanding Teaching by the Stony Brook University School of Medicine in 1997. In addition to his research and teaching accomplishments, Dave provided extensive service to the scientific community. He was a member of the editorial boards of Molecular Endocrinology and the Journal of Lipid Research.

The scientific community of lipid and atherosclerosis research lost a valued member with the passing of Dr. David L. Williams on July 16, 2004, after a long struggle with Marfan syndrome. His mentorship, friendship, courage, love of life, and wonderful sense of humor are celebrated annually at the Kern Lipid Conference; and his many contributions are commemorated through the David L. Williams Lectureship and Award for Early Career Investigators