Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Dr. Louis E Underwood, 1937–2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 08:30

Dr. Louis E Underwood, pioneering pediatric endocrinologist, died July 21, 2014, in Rockville, MD. He was 77 years old.

Born on Feb 20, 1937, he was an alumnus of the University of Kentucky and Vanderbilt Medical School, where he also completed his internship, residency, and chief residency in pediatrics. Dr. Underwood also served in the United States Navy.

In 1967, he came to University of North Carolina (UNC) for fellowship training in pediatric endocrinology. In 1970, he joined the UNC faculty where he remained throughout his career, rising to full professor and Chief of the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology. His research contributions to both clinical medicine and science are extensive — in all, he authored more than 160 primary research reports as well as more than 140 book chapters and editorials.

Dr. Underwood was a pioneer in the diagnosis and management of growth hormone (GH) deficiency, acromegaly, and GH Insensitivity Syndrome (GHIS). He also made many contributions to the understanding of hypopituitarism, hyperinsulinism, and Cushing's disease in children.

Through his volunteer service with the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP), he made significant contributions to certification. Dr. Underwood was a member of the ABP's first pediatric Endocrinology Subboard, which had its initial meeting in January 1977. He became medical editor in 1981, serving for the next 26 years as the physician reviewer of test questions written by subboard members as well as serving as a resource for both the subboard and the ABP Chief Editor. But even more, Dr. Underwood provided continuity and a historical view of the working of the subboard over his long and productive tenure. Dr. Underwood was highly respected as a subboard leader and beloved by ABP staff who worked with him.

"Dr. Underwood will be remembered fondly for his wonderful sense of humor, gentle teaching nature and dedication to crafting quality examination questions, with the goal of improving the medical care of children and adolescents," said Dr. David G. Nichols, ABP President and CEO.

He is survived by his wife of 21 years, Barbara Chrzanowsk; two step-daughters, Krystyna Litwin and Margaret Sommerville (John Sommerville); three step-grandchildren, Fred Litwin and Nicholas and Noelle Sommerville; his children, Lee Underwood (Ellen), Beth Underwood (Scott Wall), and Ruth Underwood (Dan Hourigan); and five grandchildren, Anna Underwood, Hattie Wall, Beatrix Wall, Henry Hourigan and Owen Hourigan.

A memorial service will be held at the Van Wyk Auditorium in the G202 Medical Biomolecular Research Building on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill at 2 pm on Sept 18, 2014.

We remember his legacy and invite you to do the same.