Members in the News - In Memoriam
Leon Rosen was born in Los Angeles, Calif. on Oct. 4th, 1926. He received his undergraduate degree in medical sciences from the University of California, Berkeley in 1945, and entered medical school at the University of California at San Francisco that same year. In 1946 he took a tropical medicine course taught by Drs. Bill Hammond and Bill Reeves, which sparked his interest in tropical and vector-borne diseases. That summer he became a student of Dr. Bill Reeves, working at the Bakersfield Field Station on avian malaria and viral encephalitis. After completing his medical degree in 1948, he served a rotating internship at the Gorgas Hospital in the Panama Canal Zone, after which he did an M.P.H. in Epidemiology under the direction of Bill Reeves at the University of California at Berkeley. He then joined the U.S. Public Health Service and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Laboratory of Tropical Diseases, and took a job in Tahiti to study bancroftian filariasis in 1950. In Tahiti, he met and married his wife, Anne Marie.
In 1952, Dr Rosen returned from Tahiti and earned a Doctor of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, working under Dr. Lloyd E. Rozeboom. He then returned to Panama, taking an assignment at the Gorgas Memorial Laboratory in Panama City. It was during this assignment that he did his first work on dengue fever, a disease that was among his favorites throughout his career.
After two years in Panama, he decided he needed to know more about virology and returned to NIAID in Bethesda where he joined Dr. Robert Hubner’s laboratory. This was a very productive period of his career, working on adenoviruses, reoviruses, rhinoviruses, picornaviruses and other enteroviruses. During that time, Leon became an international expert on enteroviruses, establishing a definitive numbering system for the serotypes of rhinoviruses and reoviruses. He and his collaborators in NIAID described many new viruses during this period.
In 1962, Dr. Rosen was assigned to Honolulu, Hawaii to establish the Pacific Research Section of NIAID, NIH. This was his home until he retired in 1994. With his move to Hawaii, he began to focus his research more on arboviruses, primarily the flaviviruses. During this 32-year period, he published many seminal papers on such disease topics as bancroftian filariasis, eosinophilic meningitis, dengue/dengue hemorrhagic fever, Japanese encephalitis, and transovarial/vertical transmission of flaviviruses. He attracted talented professionals to work with him in Hawaii, including Gordon Wallace, Duane Gubler, Robert Tesh, Tim Kuberski, Andy Dean and John Shanley, and developed collaborative research with colleagues throughout the Pacific, Asia, Africa and Europe.
While Dr Rosen retired from the U.S. Public Health Service in 1978, he continued to head his laboratory in Honolulu as Director of the Arbovirus Program, Pacific Biomedical Research Center, of the University of Hawaii until 1994. A Francophile all his life, he spent much of his retirement in Paris and the French countryside. He maintained a position as a visiting scientist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, remaining actively involved in scientific studies until a few years before his death. He loved the ocean and was an avid diver all his life. Dr Rosen above all else, was an outstanding scientist. Throughout his career, he never lost touch with the laboratory or the field, often doing his own laboratory work and going to the field at every opportunity. He was an excellent mentor and laboratory manager, and a patient, hands-on teacher.
Dr. Rosen received many honors during his career, including the Baily K. Ashford Medal in 1968 for outstanding contributions to tropical medicine in mid career, and the R.M. Taylor Award in 2000 for outstanding life time contributions to arbovirology, both from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. He served as President of that Society in 1976.
Leon died of pneumonia complicated by Parkinson’s Disease on October 9, 2008. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Ann Marie, his three children, Linda, Albert and David, and four grandchildren.
John Dick Fleming MacLean
John Dick Fleming MacLean, MD, FRCPC, MRCP (UK), DCMT (Lond.), passed away Jan. 22, 2009 at age 68. Dr. MacLean was a longtime ASTMH member who served on the Society Council and as president of the ASTMH Clincal Group. He was director of the McGill Centre for Tropical Diseases and an associate professor at McGill University's Department of Medicine in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
One of the most influential voices in tropical medicine, Dr. MacLean developed the McGill Centre for Tropical Diseases into a leading international research and clinical institution. His contributions to the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene were numerous and significant, and will be greatly missed. Speaking at leading medical schools, he helped inspire new generations of tropical medicine students.
According to the McGill Centre, his interests focused on "outbreak investigations, most frequently involving parasitic disease outbreaks in Canada (malaria, North American liver fluke [Metorchis conjunctus], Trichinosis and zoonotic strongyloides)." He also studied the development of new diagnostic tests for human parasitic diseases.
Dr. MacLean is survived by his wife Meta, children Jenne (John), Sara (Craig), and James (Nicholas), and sister Frances McIntosh (Alastair).
Donations in Dr. MacLean's honor can be made to the Nature Conservancy of Canada, or the charity of your choice. A celebration of his life will be held at Redpath Hall, McGill University on Saturday, March 7 at 2 p.m.
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