2022 Robert Levy Memorial Lecturer - William Virgil Brown, MD

William Virgil Brown, MD

William Virgil Brown, MD

Emory University
Atlanta, GA


Dr. Brown was born in Bowman Georgia (900 residents). He married his college sweetheart 61 years ago. They have two sons and four grandchildren.

He received his BA degree from Emory University with majors in Physics and Chemistry and his medical degree from Yale. Internal Medicine training was at Johns Hopkins Hospital and a fellowship in Endocrinology and Metabolism at Yale. He was the first fellow to train under the direct supervision of Dr. Robert Levy as a Clinical Associate at the NIH. While there, he isolated and characterized three of the apolipoproteins of triglyceride rich lipoproteins known now as the C-apolipoproteins.

At UCSD (1971) with Daniel Steinberg, he began two major programs: the Special Center of Research on Atherosclerosis (SCORE) and the UCSD component of the National Lipid Research Clinic program. His early work in the SCORE allowed the separation of lipoprotein lipase from hepatic endothelial lipase from human plasma. The LRC Coronary Primary Prevention Trial was begun and later demonstrated that LDL reduction reduced heart disease. In collaboration with Elizabeth Barret Connor the Rancho Bernardo Study of lipoprotein relationships to CHD in the elderly was begun.

He has held endowed Chairs in Metabolic Diseases at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in NYC and at Emory University. In those Schools he mentored many fellows and young faculty in Metabolic disease and lipid metabolism, including Henry Ginsberg and Ira Goldberg, who hold endowed chairs at Columbia and NYU respectively.

He was President of the AHA in 1991 and received the Gold Heart Award in 1996.

He was the first President of the National Lipid Association in 2002 to 2004 and the President of the International Atherosclerosis Society in 2009 to 2012.

He has received the Bruce Logue Award for Lifetime Achievement in Medicine, the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Emory Medical Alumni Association, and the Joseph Stokes Award from the American Society of Preventive Cardiology in 2015.

Dr. Brown became the First Editor of the Journal of Clinical Lipidology in 2007 and retired from that position in 2017. He has published over four hundred articles in the medical Literature.