DeWitt Stetten, Jr., M.D., Ph.D.

Deputy Director for Science, March 17, 1974 - September 11, 1979

Dr. Stetten, an eminent medical educator and researcher in metabolic diseases, was named NIH deputy director for science on March 17, 1974.

He received his A.B. degree from Harvard College in 1930, and his M.D. and Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1934 and 1940, respectively. From 1934 to 1937, he took his internship and residency at Bellevue Hospital in New York. Dr. Stetten then joined the staff at Columbia University for 9 years, serving successively as assistant instructor and assistant professor of biochemistry. In 1947, he was appointed assistant professor in biological chemistry at the Harvard Medical School. From 1948 to 1954, he was chief of the division of nutrition and physiology for the Public Health Research Institute of New York City.

Dr. Stetten first came to NIH in 1954 as director of the intramural research program of the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases. In that capacity, he directed institute programs on basic and clinical research in diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, and disorders of the blood, bone, and liver. He left NIH in 1962 to become the first dean of the Rutgers Medical School, a position he held until his return to NIH on October 1, 1970, as director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

The American Diabetes Association awarded Dr. Stetten the Banting Medal in 1957. In 1963, he delivered the 22nd annual NIH Lecture on the "History and Natural History of Gout."

Among his many honors were the DHEW Superior Service Honor Award (1973) and the DHEW Distinguished Service Award (1977). He also received honorary D.Sc. degrees from Washington University (1974), and from the College of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (1976).

Author of more than 100 original papers in his field of research, and coauthor of the early editions of the textbook, Principles of Biochemistry, Dr. Stetten served on the editorial boards of numerous scientific and medical journals. He was president of the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (1972-74), and was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the NAS Council. He was president of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, 1977-79.

Dr. Stetten was named senior scientific advisor to the NIH director in September 1979.

This page last reviewed on August 7, 2015