Obituary

Bulletin of the World Health Organization, March-April 2003 | Go to article overview

Obituary


David Francis Clyde, 1925-2002

David Frances Clyde died on 12 November 2002 after a long fight against pancreatic cancer. His life and career spanned three continents and nearly 60 years of dedicated work. He was born in India in 1925, and no doubt inherited his interest in malaria from his father who served in the Indian Medical Services. He was educated first in England, then in the USA before graduating in medicine from McGill University in Canada in 1948. Following his internship in 1949, he married and then joined the British Colonial Medical Service to be stationed in Tanganyika (now United Republic of Tanzania). He served as clinician, malariologist, senior epidemiologist and finally as Deputy Surgeon General in post-independent United Republic of Tanzania. During this period he gained a PhD from the University of London (1963) for his research on malaria.

In 1966, David Clyde left Africa joining the University of Maryland School of Medicine where he pursued his work on therapies and the prevention of malaria. He remained there until 1975; he felt that his best work was done during this period and he retained a deep affection for the University of Maryland. In 1975 he became Director of the Department of Tropical Medicine in Louisiana State University, and in 1979 he joined WHO as Senior Public Health Adviser to the South-East Asia region and Regional Malaria Adviser. As a WHO staff member, David Clyde was a major player in the regional programme of monitoring drug resistance, promoting rational use of antimalarials for the reduction of mortality, and the Plasmodium falciparum containment programme in India.

He retired from WHO in 1985 and returned to the USA to become Director of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health and, until 1992, chief of malaria studies in the Center for Vaccine Development at the University of Maryland.

Among his many achievements were his pioneering studies in malaria immunology and his key role in establishing that man could be protected against malaria through the bite of irradiated infected mosquitoes, which is still the essential "proof of principle" that successful malaria vaccination is possible.

David Clyde was a person of numerous interests, including the history of medical services, which he studied while in Tanganyika, collecting early German administration reports and later ones from British administrators. …

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