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Past President's Gallery
Herbert L. DuPont, United States of America, 1991 – 1993
Herbert DuPont currently serves as the Director, Center for Infectious Diseases and Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Texas School of Public Health and Chief, Internal Medicine Service at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital. Additionally he is a professor at The Baylor College of Medicine H. Irving Schweppe, Jr., M.D., Chair in Internal Medicine and Vice Chairman, Department of Medicine; The Mary W. Kelsey Chair of Medical Sciences, The University of Texas-Houston Medical School; Professor of Medicine, Graduate Schools of Bio medical Sciences, The University of Texas and Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. DuPont also is Adjunct Professor at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and President of the Kelsey Research Foundation.
Dr. DuPont has been active and held positions in numerous organisations, including the American Clinical and Climatological Association, American Epidemiological Society, American Society for Clinical Investigation, American Academy of Microbiology, America College of Physicians, Association of American Physicians, Infectious Diseases Society of America, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, and the International Society of Travel Medicine. He has received many awards and honors.
Dr. DuPont has served on the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee and as Consultant to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Board of Scientific Counselors, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); NIH Blue Ribbon Panel on Bioterrorism and its Implications for Biomedical Research; Medical Advisory Steering Committee of the City of Houston Medical Strike Team for Biological, Chemical and Nuclear Terrorism; and the Board of Advisors, Emory University School of Medicine, 2001-2009.
Dr. DuPont has lectured widely in the field of travel medicine, has authored or co-authored 615 medical and scientific publications, and edited or written 19 books. Reference 11 in CV was the first description of the biologic properties of Norwalk virus published in 1971 and reprinted in the Journal of Infectious Diseases in 2004 as a Centennial Classic; reference 12 describing the pathogenesis of Escherichia coli diarrhea was deemed a Science Citation Classic in 1985 as one of the 100 most cited articles published in the New England Journal of Medicine. He serves on the Editorial Boards of the Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice, Journal of Infectious Diseases, The Journal of Infection, and currently serves as the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Travel Medicine.
Robert Steffen, Switzerland, 1993 – 1995
Robert Steffen, Emeritus Professor, is currently concentrating on research projects at the University of Zurich Centre for Travel Medicine, where until 2008 he was the Head of the Division of Epidemiology and Prevention of Communicable Diseases in the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine and Director of a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Traveller's Health. Further, he is Adjunct Professor in the Epidemiology and Disease Prevention Division of the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston, TX and Honorary Fellow of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine.
Dr. Steffen began systematically investigating illness and accidents in travellers in 1975. He organised the First International Conference on Travel Medicine in Zurich 1988 and became a co-founder and President of the International Society of Travel Medicine. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Travel Medicine and has published more than 350 papers, book chapters, monographs - mainly in the field of travel health. For 12 years each, Dr. Steffen presided over the Swiss Influenza Pandemic Planning Committee and the Expert Committee for Travel Medicine; he was Vice-President of the Federal Commission on Vaccination and of the Swiss Bioterrorism Committee.
Dr. Steffen has held a number of critical roles in ISTM since its inception. He has served as President-Elect, President and Past-President, as well as chairing the Exam and Liaison Committees.
Jay Keystone, Canada, 1995 – 1997
On September 3, 2019, the travel and tropical medicine world lost a charismatic teacher and outstanding clinician. Many of us first met Jay at the Zurich Conference in 1988 where he displayed to the fledgling travel medicine community his uncanny ability to teach with humor and practicality. Much later, he transformed these methods into a well-known and much loved lecture on “Teaching teachers how to teach.”
Jay practiced medicine, taught, and lived his life on his own terms. Broad smiles and rumbles of laughter were typical during his presentations. Even while ill, he continued to put enormous time and energy into crafting new material for his lectures. Bawdy cartoons and politically incorrect statements punctuated his discourse, and while the occasional listener may have felt insulted, one realized that beneath this visage was someone who deeply loved his fellow man, no matter who they were, or from where they came.
The scientific community will miss this great professional. Jay was a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, and for many years, the Director of the Tropical Medicine Unit at the Toronto General Hospital. Well known to have made hospital rounds on roller blades, “The General” was always his second home. One could find large stuffed animals and other mementos in his office from his many travels and from grateful patients. Later, Jay became the Director of the Toronto Medisys Travel Health Clinic and continued to see patients until just a few weeks prior to his death. Loved by his patients and respected by his fellow clinicians, Jay was always available for consultations. Many know the literature, but Jay was one of those rare physicians who was able to expertly and compassionately combine the science with the art.
As President of the ISTM from 1995-1997, he strengthened it with foresight and wisdom. He consolidated what the founders had initiated. All who practice travel medicine know “The Keystone,” the textbook in which he has been senior editor for all 4 editions. For his scientific contributions, he was awarded the Ben Kean Medal by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and more recently was appointed to the Order of Canada. Earlier this year, Jay was awarded the Distinguished Fellow recognition of our Society. When he learned of the award, he gave a characteristic response, “What does it mean?....money, sex, fame?”
Above all, Jay was a family man. Some may recall his many lectures profiling his 5 children and their mother, Donna Keystone, referring to their escapades, and his desire to find them partners by tagging a phone number to their pictures. But the more recent highlight of his personal life occurred 10 years ago with his marriage to Margaret Keystone (nee Mascarenhas). Margaret, a native of Tanzania, and of Tanzanian and Goan background, made her way to Canada on her own in 1990. In 2008, while working, she and Jay met, finding both romance and friendship. There for support during Jay’s first bout with life threatening cancer requiring a bone marrow transplant, Margaret has been the strength that carried him forward. Together they shared the many joys of worldwide and armchair travel, as well as the intimacy of a private and loving home life.
Lastly, all those who had the opportunity to collaborate with Jay within the leadership of the Society, in its committees, meetings, updates, or elsewhere, know that we have lost not only an exceptional colleague and mentor, but also a dear friend, one whom we could turn to at any time for warmth, as well as invaluable and sound advice.
Phyllis Kozarsky and Robert Steffen
Michel Rey, France, 1997 – 1999
Information not available at this time.
Charles D. Ericsson, United States of America, 1999 – 2001
Dr. Ericsson graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1970. He did his medicine residency at the University of Minnesota Hospitals and served two years in the US Air Force. He did his fellowship in infectious diseases with Herbert L. DuPont at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, where he remained on the faculty to this day. Dr. Ericsson has heavy clinical infectious diseases consultative and teaching duties. He has received several awards for his teaching and is presently the Director of the Infectious Diseases Fellowship Training Program at University of Texas Medical School at Houston. In addition, he is director of the University of Texas Travel Medicine Clinic. He is also currently involved in hospital infection control and antibiotic restriction programs. His research interests include travellers' diarrhea and travel medicine. He has journeyed each summer to Guadalajara Mexico to conduct clinical trials in travellers' diarrhea since 1975.
Dr. Ericsson is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the Infectious Diseases Society of America. He is a member of the American Society for Microbiology and the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Dr. Ericsson is a manuscript reviewer for more than 10 journals; founding editor of the Journal of Travel Medicine; and past Editor of the Travel Medicine Section, Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2000-2009.
A member since the Atlanta meeting, Dr. Ericsson served on the ITSM Scientific Planning Committee for the ISTM meetings in Paris, France. He also was a member of the ISTM Long Range Planning, the Examinations and the Publications Committees and was the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Travel Medicine. Dr. Ericsson served as President of ISTM from 1999 through 2001.
Louis Loutan, Switzerland, 2001 – 2003
Louis Loutan, MD, MPH is the head of the Division of International and Humanitarian Medicine in the Department of Community Medicine and Primary Care at the Geneva University Hospitals in Geneva, Switzerland. He is also Associate Professor in International and Humanitarian Medicine at the University of Geneva. Dr. Loutan is a specialist in internal medicine and tropical medicine and has a Master's in Public Health.
Dr. Loutan spent five years in the Republic of Niger conducting clinical work, epidemiological surveys in nutrition and tropical medicine, and organising programs in community health for nomadic populations. He spent two years in the Department of Community Health at Tufts University School of Medicine (Boston) organising training courses in international health. He has conducted research projects on leishmaniasis, and the impact of snakebites in Nepal. Dr. Loutan has served as senior consultant in tropical medicine at the Geneva University Hospitals and as Medical Director of the HUG laboratory of parasitology. He also served as technical advisor and co-director of the consortium managing SDC funded projects, continuing medical education programs in family medicine, and the Family Medicine Implementation Project in Bosnia.
Dr. Loutan has been the head of the Geneva travel medicine clinic since 1989 and has conducted research in various aspects of travel medicine including immunogenicity and tolerance of hepatitis A and B vaccines, vaccine combinations, security, and humanitarian expatriates. Since 1991 he served as head of the Unit offering various services for migrant and refugee populations in Geneva (medical screening, prevention programs, clinical care, care for survivors of violence, and interpreter services), as well as conducting research and providing training in this field.
His appointments include president of the Swiss Society of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology; president of the International Society of Travel Medicine; former board member of the Federation of European Societies for Tropical Medicine and International Health; chair of the organising committee of the 5th international Conference on Travel Medicine (Geneva 1997); president of the HUG Committee of humanitarian and international cooperation activities; and president of the organizing committee of the Geneva Forum: towards Global Access to Health, Geneva in 2006 and 2008.
Bradley A. Connor, United States of America, 2003 – 2005
Bradley A. Connor, M.D. is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and Attending Physician at the New York Presbyterian Hospital. He is founder and Medical Director of Travel Health Services, New York's first private travel medicine clinic. Dr. Connor is also the director of the New York Center for Travel and Tropical Medicine, a facility devoted to teaching and research in travel and tropical medicine. Dr. Connor has been in the private practice of Gastroenterology and Tropical Medicine for the past 30 years.
His main research interests include chronic gastrointestinal disorders in returned travellers, emerging gastrointestinal pathogens, and enteric parasitic diseases. He was part of the Kathmandu, Nepal team that first described the clinical illness associated with Cyclospora infections and made subsequent contributions to the understanding of its pathogenesis, epidemiology, and treatment. Widely published in these fields, he is co-editor of the textbook Travel Medicine, now in its 3rd edition.
Dr. Connor was the Co-Chair of the ISTM Foundation and CDC sponsored Travellers' Diarrhea Consensus Conference, held in April 2016. New guidelines for the diagnosis and management of Travellers' Diarrhea were developed during this conference and the proceedings will be published in early 2017.
This was the first international Consensus Conference on this subject in over a decade and was prompted by the availability of new culture independent diagnostics such as Film Array and the growing awareness of the potential for acquisition of multi drug resistant bacteria as a result of travel and the use of antibiotics. Dr. Connor has been the author of the sections on Travellers'™ Diarrhea and Persistent Diarrhea in the CDC Health Information for International Travel "Yellow Book" for the past six years. In his clinical practice Dr. Connor was an early adopter of the BioFire FilmArray GI panel, the first physician in private practice in New York to utilize this new diagnostic technology as early as April 2014 and has now accumulated over two and a half years worth of data on diarrhea in returned travellers as well as community acquired cases.
Dr. Connor is Past President of the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM) an organisation of over 3000 physicians and allied health professionals in over 75 countries. He is a consultant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and has been part of the Health Information for International Travel working group in the Division of Global Migration since 1997. He is the New York City site director for GeoSentinel®, the emerging infectious diseases network of the CDC and ISTM. Dr. Connor was a member of the task force on Travel Medicine at the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2003. Dr. Connor has served as a consultant to the White House Medical Unit in the Clinton and Bush administrations and is an advisor in Travel Medicine for the U.S. Olympic Swim Team.
Dr. Connor received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He completed both his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center Hospitals in San Antonio and his fellowship in gastroenterology at the New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical College.
Dr. Connor is a Fellow of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA-F), Fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America (FIDSA) and was awarded Fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Glasgow) FFTM, FRCPS.
Prativa Pandey, Nepal, 2005 – 2007
Dr. Prativa Pandey is currently the medical director of the CIWEC Clinic Travel Medicine Center located in Kathmandu, Nepal and has been since 1998. CIWEC Clinic is one of the busiest travel clinics situated in a destination country and receives patients from over 75 different countries in any given year. Dr. Pandey was elected President of the International Society of Travel Medicine in 2005 and served as President till 2007. The society underwent robust membership and financial growth during her tenure as President and she served as Chair of the conference organizing committee for the Vancouver conference held in 2007.
Having been a graduate of medical college in New Delhi, India, she obtained her post graduate training in Internal Medicine from Boston, Massachusetts and was Board certified in that specialty. She returned to her home country after practicing medicine in the USA for 13 years to join Dr. David Shlim at the CIWEC Clinic in Kathmandu, Nepal in 1993. Under her leadership, the clinic got its own custom designed building and is now able to provide expanded services to travellers including inpatient care. In her practice, she combines the keen scientific knowledge she gained in the west with the compassionate caring attitude she grew up with in the east to provide the best care travellers can receive away from home. CIWEC Clinic has served as a wonderful laboratory to study illnesses in travellers and research conducted here has helped define health risk for travellers to Nepal. Dr. Pandey has been an active participant of ISTM's GeoSentinel network®.
Dr. Pandey has served on the Executive Board of Society of Internal Medicine of Nepal and was the founding president of America Nepal Medical Foundation Nepal chapter. She is currently Chairperson of the Open Learning Exchange Nepal that assists school children with computerized learning and very much enjoys being part of this project. She served as a volunteer physician for 3 months at the Himalayan Rescue Association's clinic at 14000ft near Everest Base Camp and has been on the medical advisory board of this association. She has traveled extensively but enjoys trekking in Nepal the most.
Frank von Sonnenburg, Germany, 2007 – 2009
We are saddened by the death of Frank von Sonnenburg, MD, MPH, PhD, on August 21, 2020, after a relatively brief struggle with a brain cancer. Frank’s passing marks the loss of a loyal and longstanding ISTM leader and friend.
Frank was a Professor in Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich. He had worked extensively in developing countries on a variety of infectious diseases projects, in public health at the WHO and elsewhere, and on vaccine clinical trials. Among many activities at ISTM, Frank served as CISTM7 Chair in Innsbruck, Austria in 2001, Secretary-Treasurer from 1997-2005, President from 2007-2009, and GeoSentinel Munich Site Director since 1995.
Frank led our Society in major achievements. He contributed greatly to organizing CISTMs in Europe that were not only scientific successes, but also convivial get-togethers and with his exceptional flair for numbers they provided a foundation for the financial success of the Society. He had a vision of a global Society in which peers from industrialized countries around the world would bring together colleagues from lower resource settings to develop travel medicine and travel health in their home countries.
Hans Nothdurft, medical school classmate and life-long good friend of Frank, remarked that Frank mellowed from his early-career radical viewpoints about health care, but continued to dedicate the focus of his work to vaccination as a crucial component of good health for all. Frank was a sincere and inspiring colleague.
Frank was also down-to-earth and keenly supported junior colleagues. As a fledgling travel medicine provider, Lin Chen had written to Frank to learn about Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Europe. Although they had never met, Frank answered promptly and expertly with pertinent and valuable knowledge. In GeoSentinel, he constantly pushed for distributing reimbursements to his whole team and for different members on his team to co-author papers. Frank’s assertive but never arrogant nature, his willingness to respond to curiosity, and his support for junior colleagues have led to decades of fond memories for all who knew him.
Frank was a founding site director of GeoSentinel, making Munich one of the first sites outside North America, and from the start one of the largest and most diverse contributors to the network. Frank worked tirelessly from the beginning to update data collection, moving from using fax machines to web-based data entry. Frank later made a tremendous personal effort to more effectively integrate Munich’s huge and complex clinical operation with the Network. As a rare clinician with strong programming skills, he pioneered the use of electronic medical record templates to auto-populate the GeoSentinel database from the invaluable trove of clinical information gathered at his site – a task the rest of us still only dream about accomplishing one day. As co-members of the Data Quality Working Group since its inception, Michael Libman remembers with fondness innumerable days, meetings, meals, and wine-infused evenings dissecting, arguing, and laughing (sometimes quite hysterically) over data conundrums which always spilled over into stories and contemplation of work and life in general. Frank’s extensive clinical knowledge was essential in designing and improving the quality of our entire database. Michael notes that his devotion to GeoSentinel meant that his proposals and opinions were profuse, but always constructive and relevant, delivered with conviction and enthusiasm, and although we all debated a great deal, the result was always for the benefit of our projects.
All of us who spent time with Frank quickly realized that he had that rare balance between being opinionated, devoted, compassionate, and fun – a balance which pushed us all forward, while always enjoying the work and our time together. His joie-de-vivre was manifested by the extraordinary opening parties he organized at Innsbruck in 2001 and Budapest in 2009, which live on in ISTM lore. His compassion is recalled by David Freedman whose son was hospitalized in Munich a few years ago during a summer internship; Frank’s first words when David phoned him on a Sunday were, “don’t worry, I’m going to the hospital right now to check on things”. Frank exemplified what being part of the ISTM family means.
On behalf of ISTM leaders, we send our deepest sympathies to Frank’s wife Angelika and their sons. We remember warmly a passionate man, and with his heart always in the right place despite a few rough edges which were the evidence of his commitment. A man who greatly influenced travel medicine, GeoSentinel and global health. We will miss his expansive persona, his invaluable ideas, his drive and vision for ISTM and GeoSentinel, and the ever-present twinkle in his eyes!
In memory of Frank, you may wish to consider a donation to the ISTM Foundation.
Lin Chen, ISTM President, with contributions from:
Phyllis Kozarsky, ISTM Co-Founder
Hans Nothdurft, Past ISTM Website Editor and CISTM Organizer
Davidson Hamer and Michael Libman, GeoSentinel Co-Principal Investigators
David Freedman, Past ISTM Secretary-Treasurer 2005-2013, and GeoSentinel PI 1995-2014 Annelies Wilder-Smith, Past ISTM President, JTM Editor-in-Chief
Robert Steffen, ISTM Co-Founder and ISTM Foundation President .
Alan J. Magill, United States of America, 2009 – 2011
One of Alan Magill's close friends, a doctor whom he had known since medical school, called me on Saturday, September 19th, to tell me that Alan had died that morning. He said that Alan had gone to a gym with his daughter to work out, and when they were driving home, a few blocks from their house, Alan suddenly pulled the car over to the curb, set the parking brake, and collapsed onto the steering wheel. His daughter, a recent college graduate, had the presence of mind—she was a Magill—to call 911, then pull Alan out of the car onto the street and start cardiopulmonary resuscitation. By chance, the first car to come upon the scene was driven by a doctor, who stopped to help. However, Alan never regained a cardiac rhythm.
I like to think about Alan in his last few seconds, suddenly aware that something was terribly wrong, but only thinking about his daughter's safety, steering the car skillfully to a stop—and setting the parking brake—before he lost consciousness. This seems so typical of Alan Magill—his presence of mind, coming up with a plan, and thinking only of others.
I first met Alan in 1994, when I invited him to speak at a Medicine for Adventure Travel conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I didn't know him, and hadn't heard him speak, so I was nervous about putting him on the program, but he was well recommended by a friend of mine who knew him well. It always seemed so ironic, in retrospect, to have been hesitant to put Alan Magill on a program. He proved to be the clearest, warmest, most insightful speaker that one could hope to see. This was Alan's first foray into travel medicine, as he was a researcher for the U.S. army at the time, working in malaria and leischmaniasis.
Alan was an avid outdoors person, who raced bicycles in Europe while he was stationed there in the 1980s, skied for a U.S. army ski team, and climbed mountains, including ascents of Denali in Alaska, and a first ascent of a mountain in Tibet. He and his family often did long backpacking trips. He loved coming to Jackson Hole, and we went rock climbing together and road biking each time he came. When he was considering retiring from the army, he and his wife, Janiine, seriously looked into moving to Jackson Hole. Instead, Alan ended up taking a job at the Gates Foundation, as the head of their malaria eradication program. When he took that job, he had to choose between accepting a position as the head of infectious diseases at a major university, or the less certain path of working for a foundation. I urged him to go to the Gates Foundation where the potential for leaving a lasting legacy, befitting his great talents and potential, could be more easily realized.
Unlike a number of army researchers that I have worked with, Alan was active duty in the military, and was deployed to war zones in emergencies. I remember his vivid description to me of the massive array of invading forces that streamed across the desert from Kuwait into Iraq—which evoked Star Wars movies in his mind—when the U.S. invaded that country in 2003. Alan was there to counteract potential biologic warfare weapons that it was feared that the Iraqis might deploy.
In the wake of Alan's untimely death—he was only sixty-one years old—I've never seen an outpouring of such universally admiring praise, not just for his research ability, but for every aspect of his life and personality. Those who worked with him are in awe of his leadership ability, which will remain legendary: he quietly could steer any organization in the right direction, and inspire everyone with the attitude that problems can be solved. At meetings he was often the last to speak, and when he did he summed up the often contentious discussion with an insight that steered everyone in the right direction. Everything that I know about running meetings and trying to provide leadership I learned from Alan Magill.
Alan became the president of ISTM in 2009. He oversaw a difficult and somewhat painful change as the ISTM transitioned from operating out of an employee's home, to hiring an executive director and creating a designated ISTM office in Atlanta. Whom to hire, where to put the office (on which continent), and many other aspects were contentious from the beginning. Under Alan's watch, all of these problems got solved, one by one, and he never shied away from the difficult decision or the difficult phone call.
However, what I will remember most about Alan were his intellectual abilities. Unlike anyone else I knew, Alan would look at what we knew about travel or tropical medicine and ask how it was that we came to know that. He was not content to repeat what had been published in a textbook or journal. For example, Alan decided to look into how we treated P vivax malaria. It turned out that there were no studies to support the dosage and efficacy of primaquine; the duration of treatment had been based on the duration of the boat trip home from the Pacific at the end of World War II. Alan performed this historical evaluation on many different diseases, and it would be a fitting legacy to him if we could all remember to ask ourselves, “How do we know that this is true?” His example led me to discover that the entire calculation of the risk of hepatitis B in travelers was based on one study in missionaries to Africa in the 1950's.
Alan was devoted to his family above all, and they carried out many adventurous trips together. His wife, Janiine, was also in the U.S. army. Trained as a pediatrician, she supervised clinical trials for much of her career, then when they moved to Seattle, joined the Children's Hospital of the University of Washington as a pediatric oncologist. Alan's daughters are both college graduates, and pursuing careers that help other people. They were energetic children, and one time at a party at my house in Jackson Hole, someone came in to say that there were two young girls running around outside with burning sticks. Without even looking up, Alan said, “Those would be mine.”
I can't think of anyone else in my life who was so universally loved and admired. Alan never said anything bad about anyone, a trait that we could all learn from. He never tried to avoid the difficult decision or task. When he took on the challenge of trying to eliminate malaria from the world, one automatically assumed that if anyone could design such a program, it would be Alan. Sadly, I think it is genuinely true that the time frame for eliminating malaria in the world will probably be set back by the loss of his leadership and vision. He enthusiastically embraced the mission statement that I created for my presidency of ISTM, in that “the ideal form of travel medicine would be the kind that makes it unnecessary.” If there's no malaria in the world, there's no need to discuss malaria prophylaxis.
Alan treated everyone in his life the same way, with kindness and directness, whether they were patients, colleagues in other countries, friends, or family. There was never a dumb question around Alan. Everyone counted Alan as a friend, and as a resource for any difficult tropical medicine question. As the editor of Hunter's Tropical Medicine, Alan's knowledge of tropical medicine became even more encyclopedic. I called him last year to ask him about a patient who had been in Panama and had three weeks of fatigue, minor respiratory symptoms, and a fever every night at 7:00 p.m. He didn't readily know what he had, but he said, “You know, histoplasmosis was discovered in Panama. Has he been in a cave?” I went back to the patient and asked him, and he said that he had spent an hour exploring a cave looking for exotic insects. Histoplasmosis proved to be the diagnosis.
I want to share what Jay Keystone, another former president of ISTM, wrote to me upon hearing of Alan's death. Jay has recently been awarded the Order of Canada for his lifetime work in travel and tropical medicine, yet he credits Alan as being one of his greatest teachers: Alan was a brilliant teacher, the best that I have ever had the pleasure to learn from. He had the ability to simplify difficult concepts and to present them in a way that was both understandable and memorable. He will be missed, but his legacy as an outstanding educator, leader and caring human being will remain far beyond his too short life.
For all of us in travel or tropical medicine, we need to carry Alan's legacy forward as much as we can, remembering to treat everyone with kindness, to question what we know, to look things up, and to teach others when we can. I can't imagine anyone in medicine who was a more inspiring teacher and friend than Alan Magill.
David R Shlim MD
Fiona Genasi, United Kingdom, 2011 – 2013
Fiona is Nurse Consultant in Travel Health Medicine, responsible for national travel medicine programmes at Health Protection Scotland, the agency that oversees travel medicine there. Fiona develops policy and services in travel and international health for the Scottish Government, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, other health professionals and organisations, and the general public. Fiona has been an ISTM member since its inception and has previously served in most of the leadership roles within the Society.
Fiona qualified with a nursing degree in 1984, before specialising in Infectious Diseases, Tropical and Travel Medicine. She gained a Masters degree from the University of Glasgow in 1992, and is an Honorary Lecturer in Epidemiology within the Public Health Medicine Department there. In 2006 she was admitted to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow as a Founder Fellow within the Faculty of Travel Medicine. She sits on the College Examination Board for the Diploma in Travel Medicine and regularly teaches and examines at post-graduate level. Fiona has co-authored three textbooks in travel medicine and numerous other publications on the topic.
Fiona has travelled extensively, and worked abroad in countries such as India and Iraq on education, research and humanitarian projects. She is an active member on various national and international groups and committees, including the UK Advisory Committee on Malaria Prevention (ACMP), and EuroTravNet . Fiona was actively involved in the genesis of the winning proposal for EuroTravNet , designed to build a network to support travel and tropical medicine related activities in Europe, which is funded by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
David R. Shlim, United States of America, 2013 – 2015
Dr. Shlim has served as Medical Director at the Jackson Hole Travel and Tropical Medicine Clinic since 1998. Born in Portland, Oregon, Dr. Shlim received his M.D. in 1976 from Rush Medical College. He served his residency at Good Samaritan Hospital and Medical Center in Portland, Oregon.
Dr. Shlim worked in family practice and emergency medicine from 1977 through 1983. He served three volunteer seasons at the Himalayan Rescue Association aid post at Pheriche, Nepal in 1979, 1980, and 1982 and was the Medical Director of the CIWEC Clinic Travel Medicine Centre in Kathmandu, Nepal from 1983 to 1998.
Dr. Shlim was the Course Chairman for Medicine for Adventure Travel (a travel medicine course in Jackson Hole, Wyoming) from 1993 to 2006. He served as Secretary/Treasurer of the Clinical Group of the ASTMH from 2001-2003. Dr. Shlim's ISTM roles have included serving on the scientific program committee, the exam committee, the publications committee and has been an editorial board member of the Journal of Travel Medicine since its inaugural issue. Dr. Shlim also served as a Counsellor on the ISTM Board of Directors as a Counsellor from 2007 to 2011, followed by President-Elect from 2011-2013.
Dr. Shlim has published more than 40 original articles on travel medicine issues. He is the co-author of Medicine and Compassion: A Tibetan Lama's Guidance for Caregivers, which is available in English, German, Italian, Spanish, and Catalonian. He is currently Medical Editor of the CDC's Health Information for International Travel.
Annelies Wilder-Smith, Singapore (currently Switzerland), 2015 – 2017
Annelies Wilder-Smith is Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (part-time), and Consultant at the Initiative for Vaccine Research at the World Health Organization, Geneva. She is in charge of dengue and Zika vaccine development at WHO. Furthermore, she is Scientific Coordinator of an international consortium called "ZikaPLAN" (zikaplan.tghn.org) funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020. She coordinates 25 institutional global partners to address research gaps with regards to Zika virus infections. From 2011 to 2016, she led another EU funded research consortium "DengueTools" to investigate innovative tools for the surveillance and control of dengue.
A physician with expertise in travel and tropical medicine, she is the Immediate Past President of the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM), and Past-President of the Asia Pacific Society of Travel Medicine. Her special research interests include vaccine preventable and emerging infectious diseases, in particular related to arboviral diseases. With a career spanning almost three decades, she has led and co-led various vaccine trials, published more than 260 scientific papers, edited and co-edited textbooks, and served on various scientific committees. Her awards include the Myrone Levine Vaccinology Prize, the Honor Award for exemplary leadership and coordination in determining and communicating global yellow fever risk, the Mercator Professorship award by the German Research Foundation and the Ashdown Oration Award by the Australian College of Travel Medicine.
Leo Visser, The Netherlands, 2017 – 2019
Leo Visser holds a position as professor and is head of the Department of Infectious Diseases (www.lumc.nl/vaccinaties) at the Leiden University Medical Centre in The Netherlands.
He studied medicine at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium and graduated in 1985. He continued his medical training and was board certified for internal medicine in 1990 at the same University. He was registered as an infectious diseases specialist at Leiden University Medical Centre in 1992 and obtained his PhD at the Leiden University in 1997. In 2014 he received a professorship in Infectious diseases and travel medicine at the Leiden University.
Leo Visser is involved in clinical care, research and teaching in infectious diseases, with the emphasis on vaccine-preventable and tropical diseases, travel medicine and global health. He is head of the travel clinic, which is a centre for reference on travel medicine and vaccination in The Netherlands. He holds a lectureship at the Dutch National School of Public and Occupational Health. He is deputy director of the post-graduate training in internal medicine and director of the postgraduate training for infectious diseases at the Leiden University Medical Centre.
Leo Visser is a member of the steering committee of TropNet (www.tropnet.eu). His current research activities involve vaccination responses in immunocompromized hosts, immuneresponse to yellow fever vaccine; immunogenicity and safety of intradermally administered vaccines, and malaria vaccine research in collaboration with the Universtiy of Nijmegen.
Lin Chen, United States of America, 2019 – 2021
Lin H. Chen, MD, FACP, FASTMH, FISTM, is Immediate Past President of the International Society of Travel Medicine (2019-2021). She is Director of the Travel Medicine Center at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Chen is a graduate of Harvard University and Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. She trained in Boston followed by Yale-New Haven Hospital before returning to the Boston area. She is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH), and International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM).
At ISTM, she previously directed the Travel Medicine Review and Update Course, served on the Research Committee, was a Counsellor on the Executive Board as well as Associate Chair of Scientific Program Committee for ISTM Conferences. She served on the ASTMH Certificate Examination Committee and Education Committee and also on Work Groups of the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Her editorial roles include the Journal of Travel Medicine, Current Infectious Disease Reports, Travel Medicine and Infectious Diseases, and Infectious Diseases: A Geographic Guide. She served on past scientific program committees of International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases. She is a site director for the GeoSentinel® Surveillance Network and Global Travel Epidemiology Network. Her clinical research highlight issues in travelers' health, including vector-borne diseases, immunizations, emerging infections, and cross-border healthcare.