Ned Williams, Microbiology
Dr. Ned B. Williams, professor emeritus of microbiology at the School of Dental Medicine died on April 25* in Hilton Head, S.C. at the age of 92.
Dr. Williams was largely responsible for creating the research-oriented basic science departments at the School of Dental Medicine in the early 1960s and under his direction, Penn became one of the few dental schools engaged in active basic science research. Dr. Williams was successful in securing funding from NIH to construct the School’s first research facility—a small research building on Sansom Street—and in 1967 the National Institute for Dental Research at NIH awarded the School a five-year grant to establish the first Center for Oral Health Research, with Dr. Williams as its director. Under the guidance of Dr. Williams, the School’s Leon Levy Center for Oral Health Science Center was completed in 1969, and it remains the hub of Penn Dental’s research activities today.
Born in Dayton, Ohio, Dr. Williams received an A.B. from Swarthmore College in 1934, graduated from Penn Dental Medicine in 1938. From 1942-46 he served in the U.S. Army where he attained the rank of Major. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1947. That year he joined the Penn faculty as an assistant professor and was appointed chairman of the microbiology department in 1949. He was promoted to associate professor in 1950 and professor in 1953.
During his tenure at Penn he was active in University-wide activities, serving as secretary of the Faculty Executive Committee (1950), member of the Athletic Council (1965), chairman of the Faculty Senate (1967-68).
In 1958, Dr. Williams was elected president of the International Association of Dental Research. He served as a consultant for the U.S. Public Health Service and as chairman of the Dental Study Section, 1953-57; he was a member of the Dentistry Panel of the National Research Council. Dr. Williams was a Charter Fellow of the Academy of Microbiology, and a member of its Board. He was a consultant to the Council of Dental Therapeutics of the American Dental Association and served on its Council of Dental Education.
Dr. Williams is survived by his wife of 66* years, Louise Stubbs; three daughters, Carol Jackson, Joyce Martin, and Susan Noyes; a son, David (D ’77), whose daughter is entering the class of 2009 at Penn Dental; 11 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.
*Correction: This issue listed Dr. Williams’ date of death as April 24, it should have read April 25. Also he was married for 66 years not 60 as was reported.
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Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 31, May 3, 2005
May 3, 2005
Volume 51 Number 31