Kenneth G. Kohlstaedt


Honorary Degree (1978)
Doctor of Science
Location: Indianapolis
Presenter: John William Ryan
School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award (1974)
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
School of Medicine
M.D., 1932


Dr. Kenneth G. Kohlstaedt compiled a remarkable record of achievement over his lifetime on behalf of the profession of medicine and his alma mater, Indiana University. His administrative talents were well known at the IU Medical Center and in the pharmaceutical industry. His research contributions, particularly in hypertension and cardiovascular diseases, earned him an international reputation.

Born in Indianapolis on May 10, 1908, Dr. Kohlstaedt earned two degrees from Indiana University: a Bachelor of Science in 1930 and the Doctor of Medicine in 1932. His internship and residencies were taken at Indianapolis City Hospital, now Wishard Memorial Hospital (Eskenazi), where he next served as Assistant Superintendent from 1936 to 1944.

From 1945 to 1960, Dr. Kohlstaedt was Director of the Lilly Laboratory for Clinical Research. During the period 1954-60, he also was Director of the Clinical Research Division of Eli Lilly and Company. He was named Executive Director of Medical Research in 1960 and served as the Company's first Vice President for Medical Research from 1964 to 1975.

Dr. Kohlstaedt became a member of the faculty of the Indiana University School of Medicine in 1934 and was named a full Professor of Medicine in 1952. When he retired from Eli Lilly and Company in 1975, he found a new challenge as Special Assistant to the Dean of the School of Medicine. He coordinated alumni activities and development until 1977, when he retired and moved to California.

The medical profession recognized Dr. Kohlstaedt with numerous honors including Mastership in the American College of Physicians. As of 1978, he was one of only two Hoosier physicians to have been so honored. He also was named a Fellow of the New York Academy of Science.

Dr. Kohlstaedt was a former President of the Central Society for Clinical Research. He also served as Vice President of the American Heart Association, the American College of Physicians, and the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. He was a Life Governor of the James Whitcomb Riley Memorial Association and a former Trustee of the American Fund for Dental Health.

Dr. Kohlstaedt passed away on October 26, 1990.