P&S Journal: Fall 1994, Vol.14, No.3
Sidney C. Werner, M.D.
Dr. Sidney Charles Werner, professor emeritus of clinical medicine and a key contributor to the development of modern understanding of Graves' disease, died April 21, 1994, in Tucson, Ariz. He was 84 years old.
Dr. Werner was a major influence on modern endocrinology and the study of the thyroid. His work on Graves' disease challenged and disproved the belief that it was caused by hypersecretion of TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) by the pituitary and proved it to be an autoimmune disease. He established the classifications of eye changes used to diagnose Graves' disease and the clinical syndrome called euthyroid Graves' disease.
During World War II he studied nitrogen loss induced by stress of injury and found it could be prevented by high protein feeding, which became standard practice of feeding postgastrectomy patients early after operations.
A 1929 graduate of Columbia College, Dr. Werner received his M.D. degree in 1932 and an Sc.D. degree in 1937, both from P&S. He joined the faculty of P&S following his internship and residency at Presbyterian Hospital. He was chief of the combined endocrine clinics at Presbyterian Hospital from 1947 to 1974 and chief of the thyroid clinic from 1962 to 1977. He retired in 1977 to Arizona, where he continued his work and became a visiting professor of medicine at the University of Arizona Medical Center.
A founder and president of the American Thyroid Association, Dr. Werner also founded the New York Thyroid Club. The Sidney C. Werner Lectureship was established in his honor at P&S in 1977.