In Memoriam: Richard Havel, MD, and Hibbard “Hib” Williams, MD

reprinted from Issue 23, Fall 2016 of Frontiers of Medicine (PDF)

Richard Havel, MD, a pioneer in the field of lipoproteins and former director of the UCSF Cardiovascular Research Institute (CVRI), died on April 9. He was 91. Havel received a bachelor’s degree from Reed College and a master’s degree in chemistry and a medical degree from the University of Oregon. He completed internal medicine residency at Cornell, and initiated his research on lipoproteins and lipid transport at the National Heart Institute in Bethesda, Md. He joined the UCSF faculty in 1956 as one of the founding members of the CVRI, serving as its director from 1973 to 1992. Among other discoveries, Havel refined and optimized the methodology for separating good cholesterol (HDL) from bad cholesterol (LDL), and conducted one of the first studies demonstrating that lowering LDL cholesterol led to a reduction of atherosclerosis. His paper on lipoproteins in human serum published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation remains among the most cited publications in the field of lipid biology.

Hibbard “Hib” Williams, MD, the first chief of the UCSF medical service at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, died on July 26. He was 83. Williams, an endocrinologist and expert on kidney stone disease, received his medical degree from Cornell and completed internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital. At UCSF, he served as chief of the Division of Medical Genetics, vice chair of the Department of Medicine, and executive chief of staff. He later became chair of the Cornell University Department of Medicine, then became the dean of UC Davis School of Medicine, where he guided the rapid growth of UC Davis into a major medical research facility. Williams was a caring physician who held the highest standards for patient care and teaching. He had tremendous enthusiasm for medicine, an infectious laugh, and encyclopedic knowledge of internal medicine.

Frontiers of Medicine Main Page