Obituary: William T. Shearer, former trustee, 81

William Shearer

William T. Shearer, MD, PhD, a former trustee of Washington University in St. Louis and School of Medicine alumnus and former faculty member, died Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018, at his home in Houston. He was 81.

He was elected to the university’s Board of Trustees for a four-year term as an Ethan A.H. Shepley Trustee in 2007.

He served on the board’s educational policy and research-graduate affairs committees and was on the university School of Medicine’s National Council from 2007 to 2012.

Shearer earned his medical degree from the School of Medicine in 1970 and completed his residencies at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Barnes Hospital. He joined the medical school faculty in 1974 and was promoted to professor in 1978.

He remained an active alumnus after moving to Baylor College of Medicine in 1978 as professor of pediatrics and immunology and chief of the allergy and immunology service at Texas Children’s Hospital. A renowned immunologist, he gained worldwide attention there for his innovative care of David Vetter, affectionately known as “The Boy in the Bubble.” He also conducted important research to prevent and treat pediatric HIV/AIDS.

In 2000, he received Washington University’s Alumni Achievement Award for his international leadership on research and clinical care.

He is survived by his wife, Lynn Des Prez, and five sons and one daughter.

For more about Shearer, read the New York Times obituary.

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