Obituary for Dr. Raphael David (Ralph) January 17, 1926-January 17. 2021
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Raphael David on January 17, 2021. Dr. Raphael David was one of the founding members of the Pediatric Endocrine Society, formerly known as the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society.
Dr. Raphael David, Professor of Pediatrics (with tenure) at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine died on January 17, 2021 after a short illness. Dr. David joined the faculty at NYU School of Medicine in 1963 and served as the Chief of Pediatric Endocrinology from 1963 until 2011. Dr. David was, for more than 50 years, a highly respected clinician, educator and researcher at NYU School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital Center.
Dr. Raphael David was born and raised in Port Said, Egypt. After completing undergraduate studies at Victoria College in Alexandria, Egypt, he completed medical school at the University of Lausanne School of Medicine in Switzerland. Dr. David completed training in the United States, first with an internship and residency in Pediatrics at John Hopkins University in Baltimore followed by a three‐year research and clinical fellowship in the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology at Hopkins under the mentorship of Dr. Lawson Wilkins. Dr. David then joined the faculty in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Chicago in Illinois. In 1963, Dr. Raphael David was recruited to NYU by Dr. Saul Krugman, Chair of Pediatrics, to create and develop the NYU Division of Pediatric Endocrinology.
Dr. Raphael David research studies focused on the complexities of adrenal gland steroidogenesis, with specific attention on congenital adrenal hyperplasia as well as Sertoli and Leydig cell function. His research has furthered understanding of adrenal disorders, aldosterone deficiency, Sertoli and Leydig cell maturation, growth and pubertal disorders, as well as thyroid disease in children. As founder of the steroid laboratory at Bellevue at a time that rapid hormonal assays were not readily available for infants, he saved countless newborns born with congenital adrenal hyperplasia by diagnosing patients in the first days of life, assuring that life-sustaining treatment could be immediately instituted.
The excellent reputation he earned among his peers and patients was legendary. He has mentored hundreds of NYU medical students, residents, and fellows, many of whom have gone on to accomplished careers in Pediatric Endocrinology.
He was a founding member of the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society, now the Pediatric Endocrine Society. He was a member of the Society for Pediatric Research, the American Pediatric Society and the Endocrine Society.
At Bellevue Hospital, he served on the Drugs and Formulary Committee and was a member of the Human Research Review Committee. He served on the School of Medicine’s Faculty Council and was a member of the NYU Faculty Senate.
Ralph was an avid skier and tennis player. He enjoyed music, art, and travel.
He is survived by his partner in life and beloved wife for almost 40 years, Irene Rosner David PhD.