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Dr. William Myles "Bill" Shelley (1928-1974)

Dr. William Myles ShelleyDr. William Shelley was born on April 25, 1928 in Atlanta, Georgia. He attended college at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) graduating in 1949. After graduating with second highest stand in the pre-medical course, Dr. Shelley entered the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he earned his Doctor of Medicine in 1953. He continued at Johns Hopkins for his residency training, completed a one-year fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York with renowned Dr. Fred W. Stewart, and then returned to Johns Hopkins to become Chief Resident in 1959. He joined the faculty in 1960 as assistant professor and head of Surgical Pathology and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1964. Dr. Shelley participated in a six-month visiting professorship at the American University in Beirut in 1965.

In 1970, Dr. Shelley left Hopkins to accept a position as Director of Pathology at Charlotte Memorial Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina. On September 11, 1974, returning on a professional trip from Charleston, South Carolina, he suffered injuries in an Eastern Air Lines crash at the Charlotte/Douglass International Airport. Dr. Shelley was flown to the Air Force Burn Center at San Antonio, Texas, where he died of his injuries on October 10, 1974. On Sunday, October 13, 1974, a memorial service was held at VMI's Memorial Garden where his ashes were strewn following the service, which concluded with a three-volley salute and the playing of Taps.

Charlotte Memorial Hospital, Charlotte, North Carolina (1970-1974)

Dr. Shelley was hired to transform the Department of Pathology into a dynamic center for academic productivity with its own residency training program. In step with his expansion and development of the Department, Shelley fostered interdepartmental good will and cooperative endeavors among the several academic centers in the Carolinas, and in particular devoted considerable time and effort to projects partnering with the Medical University of South Carolina. Today he remains a towering role model for pathologists, representing their critical role in interdisciplinary investigative research.

North Carolina Society of Pathologists

In reverence to Dr. Shelley, the Shelley Memorial Lecture was created in December 1974 with funds furnished by the Shelley Foundation and has been a frequent lecture given during the North Carolina Society of Pathologists annual meeting. Guest lecturers from Johns Hopkins have included Drs. Fred Askin in 1993 and Jonathan Epstein in 2014.


The focus and breadth of Dr. Shelley's contributions to the published literature remind one of that golden era of medicine, when basic methods were sufficient to rapidly and measurably advance medical practice. Shelley coauthored works on the importance of grade and stage on management and outcome in bladder and prostate carcinomas, surgical management of hyperparathyroidism, pathologic-adrenergic functional correlations among paragangliomas and pheochromocytomas, the distribution of in-situ lobular breast carcinoma as a guide for surgical sampling, and clinical-pathologic features of giant cell arteritis.

Blast from the Past - Bill Shelley

William M. Shelley Memorial Lectureship at Johns Hopkins

Following the death of Dr. William M. Shelley, his many colleagues, friends and former students created a Visiting Professorship in his memory, formally established in 1977. In recognition of Dr. Shelley's commitment and contributions to teaching and residency training, the Director of Surgical Pathology invites an esteemed colleague to spend one day with the residents and faculty in addition to delivering this lecture.

Visiting Professorship
2021 Rhonda Yantiss, M.D.
The Pathogenesis of Coronavirus Disease-2019: Insights from Surgical Pathologists
2020 Cristina Antonescu, M.D.
Recent Advances in the Molecular Classification of Mesenchymal Tumors
2019 Bruce M. Wenig, M.D.
Viral-Associated Cancers of the Head and Neck
2018 William D. Travis, M.D.
Clinical Impact of the Pathologic Diagnosis of Lung Cancer
2017 Teri A. Longacre, M.D.
Lynch Syndrome in the Female Genital Tract: Where Are We Now and Where Are We Headed?
2016 Thomas M. Ulbright, M.D.
Diversity Among Teratomas, with a Historical Perspective
2015 David S. Klimstra, M.D.
Acina Neoplasms of the Pancreas: From Diagnostic Approach to Molecular Characterizartion and Therapeutic Targeting
2014 Arie Perry, M.D.
Biomarkers in Neuro-Oncology
2013 Jean F. Simpson, M.D.
Proliferative Breast Disease: Predictor or Precursor
2012 Stacey E. Mills, M.D.
Viral and Molecular Insights in ENT Pathology
2011 Linda Ferrell, M.D.
Non alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
2010 Victor E. Reuter, M.D.
Renal Neoplasia: Pathological, Clinical and Molecular Correlates
2009 David E. Elder, MBChB, FRCPA
Melanoma Progression, Diagnosis and Prognosis
2008 Jeffrey L. Myers, M.D.
The Pathologist's Role in Patients with Diffuse Lung Disease - Diagnosis or Pattern Recognition?
2007 K. Krishnan Unni, M.B., B.S.
Osteosarcoma of Bone: 100 Years Experience at Mayo Clinic
2006 Sylvia L. Asa, M.D., Ph.D., FRCP(C), FCAP
The Thyroid Nodule 2006: Diagnosis and Management Update
2005 Scott H. Saul, M.D.
Learn to Love the Liver: A Systemic Approach to the Liver Biopsy
2004 Christopher D.M. Fletcher, M.D., FRCPath
Evolving Concepts in Soft Tissue Neoplasia
2003 Robert H. Young, M.D.
Treacherous Clefts:
2002 Mark R. Wick, M.D.
Prognostic and Predictive Factors in Surgical Pathology
2001 Stuart J. Schnitt, M.D.
Benign Breast Disease and Cancer Risk: Morphology and Beyond
2000 Roger C. Haggitt, M.D.
Neoplastic Progression in Ulcerative Colitis
1999 Alberto G. Ayala, M.D.
Chondrosarcoma of Bone: The M.D. Anderson Experience
1998 Anna-Luise A. Katzenstein, M.D.
The Interstitial Pneumonias
1997 Sharon W. Weiss, M.D.
Liposarcoma - Current concepts
1996 Robert E. Fechner, M.D.
Squamous Carcinoma Is Not an Easy Diagnosis
1995 Howard Dorman, M.D.
Vascular Tumors in Bone: Emerging Controversies
1994 Virginia a. LiVolsi, M.D.
Follicular Thyroid Carcinoma: An Entity Whose Time Has Passed?
1993 Margaret E. Billingham, M.D.
Cardiac Transplantation - The Pathologist's Viewpoint
1992 Robert E. Scully, M.D.
Early Ovarian Cancer
1991 David L. Page, M.D.
Premalignant Breast Disease
1990 J. Bruce Beckwith, M.D.
Precursor Lesions and Early Stages in Wilms' Tumor: Pathogenesis, Clinical and Biological Implications
1989 F. Stephen Vogel, M.D.
The Medical-Legal Arena
1988 Louis P. Dehner, M.D.
Small Cell and Yes, Large Cell Tumors of Childhood: How Far have We Really Come?
1987 Juan Rosai, M.D.
Recent Advances in Thyroid Tumor Pathology
1986 Morgan Berthrong, M.D.
Observations of Pathologic Changes After Therapeutic Radiation
1985 Robert W. McDivitt, M.D.
The Utility of Kinetic Parameters in Predicting the Chance of Breast Cancer Relapse
1984 William M. Christopherson, M.D.
Endometrial Carcinoma Prognosticators
1983 Basil C. Morson, M.D.
The National History of Colorectal Cancer
1982 Costan W. Berard, M.D.
Malignant Lymphomas as Tumors of the Immune System - A Pathologist's View
1981 Wallace H. Clark, Jr., M.D.
Development and Evolution of the Primary Lesion of Cutaneous Melanoma
1980 Benjamin Castleman, M.D.
The Massachusetts General Hospital. James Homer Wright and the Clinicopathological Conference
1979 Raffaele Lattes, M.D.
Soft Tissue Tumors: Historical Perspective and Current Ideas
1978 Lauren V. Ackerman, M.D.
Cancer in the Chinese in the Peoples' Republic is Different
1977 William H. Hartmann, M.D.
In Situ Lobular Carcinoma: A Pathologist's Perspective

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