The Fred L. Soper Lectureship is an honor bestowed upon distinguished workers in environmental control or preventive medicine. Fred Soper was born in Hutchson, Kansas on December 13, 1893. He received his MD from the University of Chicago in 1918 and a octorate in public health from Johns Hopkins University in 1925. He began his distinguished career working with the Rockefeller Foundation on hookworm control in Brazil, rising to become the Foundation’s Representative for Brazil and Argentina.
Soper headed an international group that did revolutionary work on in research and control of yellow fever in South America. He discovered and named “jungle yellow fever,” the sylvatic cycle that was transmitted by species other than the urban vector Aedes aegypti. He also led the team that recognized the invasion of Brazil by the dangerous African malaria vector Anopheles gambiae, and eradicated it from the region. During WWII Soper was a civilian member of the Typhus Commission in the Middle East, and conducted pioneering studies on DDT and other louse powders.
In 1947 he was elected Director of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau, which under his leadership took on greatly expanded activities in health promotion in the hemisphere, eventually becoming the Pan American Health Organization. He served as Director for 12 years. After retirement from PAHO he became Director (1960-62) of the newly created SEATO Cholera Research Laboratory in Dacca, Bangladesh. He died on 1977. At its annual meeting in Chicago in 1978, the ASTMH Council endorsed a proposal from the Gorgas Memorial Institute that the Society and the Institute jointly establish and support an annual Fred L. Soper Lectureship on environmental control and preventive medicine. The first Soper Lecture was given by Thomas A. Weller in 1978, as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Gorgas Memorial Laboratory, and subsequent lectures were given at the Annual Meeting of the ASTMH.
Anita K. M. Ziaidi
Aga Khan University
Health Protection Agency - London
Johns Hopkins University
Unite des Rickettsies
DHHS Office of the Asst. Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness
Gabriel A. Schmunis
Warren D. Johnson
Robert E. Shope
Yale Arbovirus Research Institute
Instituto Oswaldo Cruz