Stephen Douglass Williams was born in Shelbyville and grew up in Bedford, IN. He was a graduate of DePauw University and entered the IU School of Medicine in 1967. He then completed a medical residency and internship at IU (1971-72 and 1975-76) before completing his IU medical oncology fellowship (1976-78). In 1978, Dr. Williams became a faculty member of the IU School of Medicine and was the first appointed oncologist at the Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Administration Medical Center.
Dr. Williams' leadership in IU School of medicine saw a period of expansion both in research funding and in patients treated. He also led the school during the creation of the Simon Cancer Center. In addition to directing the Cancer Center, Dr. Williams served as the H.H. Gregg Senior Chair in Oncology and Associate Dean of Cancer Research at the IU School of Medicine.
Dr. Williams earned national recognition as a physician researcher for his role in investigating the successful use of chemotherapy in the treatment of ovarian and testicular germ cell tumors. He was consistently ranked nationally among cancer care specialists in America's Top Doctors for Cancer. During his tenure, the cancer center was consistently ranked among the top clinical programs in the country in U.S. News & World Report. Family, friends and colleagues joined with Dr. Williams on Jan. 12 to celebrate his Sagamore of the Wabash awarded by Gov. Mitch Daniels.
Dr. Williams authored and co-authored 158 scientific, peer-reviewed publications, 95 abstracts and 42 textbook chapters on the diagnosis and treatment of genitourinary tumors. He served in numerous leadership roles with the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the Gynecologic Oncology Group and on a grant review committee of the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Dr. Williams died in 2009.