David A. Wood

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For other people named David Wood, see David Wood (disambiguation).

David Alvra Wood, Sr. (December 21, 1904 - November 6, 1996), was a medical doctor noted for his advanced research in pathology.

Born in Flora Vista, New Mexico to Evans and Blanche Wood, Wood grew up in modest surroundings. Showing academic and artistic talent from an early age, Wood graduated near the top of his high school class and went on to attend Stanford University, where he was in English classes with John Steinbeck and graduated with a degree in Chemistry in 1926. After obtaining his medical degree shortly thereafter, he continued on at the University as a professor of pathology for twenty years; during that time he met his wife, Ora in 1937, and started a family near the Presidio in San Francisco. After World War II, in which he served as a distinguished Navy doctor, Wood became the head of the Cancer Research Institute at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he served until his retirement in 1972. In 1956, Wood became the president of the American Cancer Society, from which he received the organization's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, in 1972. After serving on a key National Cancer Institute advisory committee from 1968-1970 and then as president, chair, and consultant to various other organizations, Wood retired to his home in San Francisco to spend time with his wife.

Wood died at age 91 of a blood ailment at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco on November 6, 1996. His legacy lives on in the David A. Wood Chair of Tumor Biology and Cancer Research, established at UCSF in 1983.

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