It is with great sadness that we share the news that Alan Magill, Director of the Malaria Program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, died suddenly in Seattle on Saturday 19 September.
Professor Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: “Alan was a great friend and adviser to many colleagues here, and has given us much wisdom and support over many years. He was keenly engaged in our work, particularly on malaria and leishmaniasis, as well as being a global leader in the effort to control and eradicate malaria. He will be much missed and our thoughts and deepest condolences are with his family.”
Chris Drakeley, Professor of Infection & Immunity and Director of the School’s Malaria Centre, said: “Alan was a hugely likeable man, very approachable and always happy to discuss work with anyone. His participation in the Malaria Centre retreat in 2012, shortly after he joined the Foundation, was very inspiring to us all.”
David Schellenberg, Professor of Malaria & International Health, said: “Alan was a calm, clear voice amidst the complexities and chaos of a world he was helping to move towards malaria eradication. We will sorely miss his clarity of thought, in-depth understanding and strategic thinking.”
In a statement on the Gates Foundation’s website, Bill and Melinda Gates said: “We all knew Alan to be passionate, super smart and deliberate, but he was also considerate, good humored and above all humble.
“Although Alan led our foundation’s work on malaria, his influence went far beyond any single disease. He had a rare gift for bringing people together and helping them work toward a common goal. He also combined a deep knowledge of science with a hard-earned understanding of what happens out in the field. He knew that insights gained in the laboratory only matter if they improve people’s lives.”
Alan Magill was until recently president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH), and the Society is planning an appropriate tribute at its forthcoming Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, and friends and colleagues are invited to send their thoughts and remembrances to Bryan Callahan, Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.