Lillian Recant Ames, 91, a retired professor at Georgetown University medical school who also did research on diabetes and metabolism, died May 10 at the Riderwood retirement community in Silver Spring

She had congestive heart failure, said a son-in-law, Mitchell Tropin.

Dr. Ames joined the Georgetown faculty in 1966 and held a joint appointment as chief of the diabetes research laboratory at what was then the Department of Veterans Affairs. She published more than 50 scientific articles before retiring in 1988.

Lillian Recant was born in the Bronx and was a 1941 graduate of Hunter College in New York.

As an undergraduate, she wrote a letter to first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, which led to a visit to the college by the first lady. Dr. Ames sat next to her at a luncheon.

Dr. Ames was among the first women admitted to Columbia University’s medical school. When she graduated summa cum laude in 1946, she was one of three women in her class.

From 1950 to 1966, she was a biochemistry researcher and professor at Washington University’s medical school in St. Louis, where she worked alongside Nobel laureates Carl and Gerti Cori.

Dr. Ames was internationally known for her research on the effects of fasting and starvation on metabolism. In 2011, she received the Pioneering Women award from Washington University’s Academic Women’s Network.

Dr. Ames lived in the District for many years before retiring to Riderwood.

Joseph L. Ames, her husband since 1956, died in 2007.

Survivors include a daughter, Victoria Ames of Gaithersburg; two stepchildren, Terry A. Tropin of Takoma Park and Gregory Ames of Marietta, Ga.; three grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

— Matt Schudel