Elson Bowman Helwig, 92, a physician and research pathologist who specialized in dermatopathology and gastrointestinal pathology, died of heart ailments Nov. 3 at the Woodbine nursing center in Alexandria.

Dr. Helwig joined the staff of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in 1946 and remained there until retiring in 1997. He had been chairman of the institute's department of skin and gastrointestinal pathology and registrar of the American Registry of Dermal Pathology.

He trained pathologists and dermatopathologists and gave hundreds of lectures and seminars across the United States and overseas.

He was the author or co-author of more than 200 scientific reports and seven books and was a visiting professor at several universities. He was a clinical professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

His awards included the Presidential Distinguished Federal Service Medal, the Distinguished Civilian Service Award and the Distinguished Pathologist Award.

Dr. Helwig, a resident of Alexandria, was born in Pierceton, Ind. He attended Purdue University and received his medical degree from Indiana University. He was an Army pathologist during World War II and remained in the Army Reserve until 1967.

His wife of 51 years, Mildred Stoelting Helwig, died in 1984.

Survivors include three children, Dr. Alan S. Helwig of McLean, Dr. Warren B. Helwig of Williamsburg and Ann H. Gordon of Alexandria; seven grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.