In Memory of Daniel R. Mishell Jr., MD

Benefiting the Daniel R. Mishell Jr. MD Professorship in Obstetrics and Gynecology Fund

Daniel Mishell, MD

Daniel R. Mishell, Jr., MD – “Dan” to his friends – passed away on May 4th at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Dr. Mishell was a giant in the field of women’s health, making numerous significant contributions to the understanding of reproductive endocrinology and menopause, and training more than 400 residents to be future leaders in the specialty.

Dr. Mishell spent most of his career in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. For almost 40 years, Dr. Mishell led the department in many ways, from Chairman, to research mentor, to friend. He always generously shared his clinical insights, intellectual acumen, and passion for women’s health. Here are some highlights from his remarkable career:

  • Daniel R. Mishell, Jr., MD attended Stanford University for both his undergraduate education (BA 1952) and medical school (MD 1955). He trained as a resident in Internal Medicine at Cornell University’s Bellevue Hospital, then in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Harbor General Hospital through the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Following his residencies, he traveled abroad with his wife, Carol, for a research fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology in Uppsala, Sweden that stoked his passion for the burgeoning field.
  • Dr. Mishell was certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and later served as its President (1986 to 1990) and Chairman (1990 to 1994). He also served as Director of the Board’s Division of Reproductive Endocrinology (1985-1989). He was a member of numerous medical societies including the Society for Gynecologic Investigation (President, 1987-1988), the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, the American Federation for Clinical Research, The American Society of Reproductive Medicine and the Endocrine Society.
  • From 1978 to 2005, Dr. Mishell served as Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and Chief of Professional Services at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center. He was Associate Editor of the Journal of Reproductive Medicine, and Editor-in-Chief of the medical journal Contraception (1970 to 2012) and The Annual Yearbook of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Women’s Health (1987 to 2004), also serving on the editorial boards of several other medical journals.
  • One of Dr. Mishell’s favorite roles beyond his work at USC was serving as consulting Senior Scientist for the Population Council’s International Committee for Contraception Research. In this capacity, he helped this organization develop the Copper intrauterine device (IUD), Norplant and the Contraceptive Ring. He also performed the first immunoassay of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in serum, performed the initial immunoassay of luetinizing hormone (LH) in urine and initially described the mid-cycle preovulatory peak of LH in urine and was the first to report the pattern of LH, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH,) estradiol, and progesterone each day of the normal menstrual cycle. He was an original thinker and researcher whose keen intellect propelled ideas forward into clinical care.
  • Dr. Mishell was the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society for Gynecologic Investigation in 1994 and the Guttmacher lectureship of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals in 1999. He authored more than 360 scientific papers, 293 published in peer review journals, and wrote more than 175 textbook chapters mainly on topics relating to contraception, reproductive endocrinology, and infertility. He edited or co-edited 45 medical textbooks including Comprehensive Gynecology (4th edition 2001), Menopause: Physiology and Pharmacology (1988), Mishell’s Textbook of Infertility, Contraception and Reproductive Endocrinology, (4th edition 1997) and Management of Common Problems in Obstetrics and Gynecology (4th edition 2001). In 2003, he was elected a fellow ad eundem of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. In 2007, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Family Planning.

Dr. Mishell was at peace in his final days, surrounded by the family and friends that he cherished. He is survived by his wife, Carol; his three children, Sandra, Daniel III, and Tanya; and his seven grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the Mishell family would be most grateful for gifts in memory of Dr. Mishell to be directed to the Daniel R. Mishell Jr. MD Professorship in Obstetrics and Gynecology Fund to help carry on his vision at the Keck School of Medicine.

To donate in Dr. Mishell’s memory use the button below. Be sure to click on the “Memorial or honorarium information” link on page two of the donation form and indicate your gift is in memory of “Daniel Mishell Jr., MD”.

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Donations by Text

To make a gift with your smartphone, simply text the word “MISHELL” to the number 71777 and you will be texted back a link to the mobile fundraising page. You may also donate online directly via the mobile fundraising page.

Donations by Check

If you would like to make a contribution by check or donor advised fund, please make the check payable to “Keck School of Medicine of USC” and write “Daniel Mishell Jr. MD Professorship” in the memo line. Checks should be mailed to the following address with an accompanying cover letter that includes your full name, preferred mailing address and phone number, and the designation of the gift (Daniel Mishell Jr. MD Professorship):

Keck School of Medicine of USC
Office of Development
1975 Zonal Avenue, KAM 300
Los Angeles CA 90089-9026
Attention: Michael Andrulis – PFP

For questions, please contact:
Michael Andrulis
Director of Development
(323) 442-1346

View the USC Living History Project interview of Dr. Daniel R. Mishell Jr. from 2008

The Keck School of Medicine of USC is part of the University of Southern California and uses USC’s Federal Tax ID Number: 95-1642394.