William H. Daughaday Papers


Reference code


Level of description



William H. Daughaday Papers


  • 1943-1985 (Creation)


0.50 Linear Feet

Name of creator


Biographical history

William H. Daughaday was a renown diabetes researcher, an authority on the growth hormone and the former director of the metabolism division at Washington University School of Medicine. Daughaday was at Washington University from 1947 until 1994.

Prior to joining the medical staff at Washington University in 1947, he earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard College in 1940 and his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1943. After medical school, Daughaday completed an internship and research fellowship at Boston City Hospital. During WWII, he spent 20 months in the U.S. Army, serving as a medical officer in Italy near the end of the war.

During his time at Washington University, Daughaday was the founding director of Washington University's Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center in 1975 and that center's successor, the Diabetes Research and Training Center, in 1978. At the center, he trained several generations of respected endocrinologists. Daughaday first came to the medical school as an assistant resident in medicine at Barnes Hospital. Next, he did a research fellowship with Carl and Gerty Cori. Then, he joined the faculty and became the first director of the metabolism division (now the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Lipid Research) in 1951, rising to the rank of professor of medicine in 1963.With Louis Avioli, Daughaday coauthored the first board certification examination for endocrinology and metabolism in 1972. Washington University School of Medicine named him the first Irene E. and Michael M. Karl Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism in 1983. After his retirement from Washington University, Daughaday joined the faculty at the University of California, Irvine, as a clinical professor of medicine.

As a researcher, Daughaday made numerous pioneering contributions to diabetes research. He discovered insulin-like growth factors, which are proteins that help neurons survive, interact with skeletal muscle tissue and protect cartilage. He also developed and applied tests to detect the presence of growth hormone, proposing that growth hormone acted on the liver to stimulate the release of insulin-like growth factor 1. In addition, Daughaday discovered how tumors that secrete abnormally high levels of insulin-like growth factor 2 can cause profoundly low blood sugar.

Throughout his career, Daughaday was active in the medical academic community. He published more than 300 articles, and his work earned him many honors, including the Fred Conrad Koch Award of the Endocrine Society, election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and to the Association of American Physicians and the National Academy of Sciences. Daughaday also received Washington University School of Medicine's Second Century Award in 1993. He sat on the NIH advisory council to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and chaired both the Endocrine Society and the American Board of Internal Medicine's sub-specialty panel on endocrinology and metabolism. Lastly, he served as editor of the Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine and the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, as well as associate editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation and as a member of several other editorial boards.

Scope and content

Summary: Chiefly reprints of Daughaday's scientific publications and book chapters dealing with endocrinology, metabolism, diabetes, growth hormones, dwarfism, and gigantism. Also Daughaday's memoir "The first 10 years of the Metabolism Division, 1951-1961" (5 leaves).

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Conditions governing access

The collection is open and accessible for research.

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Conditions governing reproduction

Users of the collection should read and abide by the Rights and Permissions guidelines at the Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives.

Users of the collection who wish to cite items from this collection, in whole or in part, in any form of publication must request, sign, and return a Statement of Use form to the Archives.

For detailed information regarding use of this collection, contact the Archives and Rare Book Department of the Becker Library (arb@wusm.wustl.edu).

Preferred Citation:

Item description, Reference Code, Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives, Washington University in St. Louis.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

  • Latin

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Gift; Becker Library copy:William H. Daughaday; 1984; (84-026).

Gift; Becker Library copy:William H. Daughaday; 1984; (84-045).

Gift; Becker Library copy:William H. Daughaday; 1985; (85-036).

Transfer; Becker Library copy:Special Programs Office, Washington University School of Medicine; 1995; (95-041).

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"Describing Archives: A Content Standard, Second Edition (DACS), 2013."

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Archivist's note

© Copyright 2019 Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives. All rights reserved.

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