T H E   N I H  C A T A L Y S T     N O V E M B E R   –  D E C E M B E R  2004



John La Montagne, NIAID deputy director since 1998 and NIH luminary since his arrival here in 1976, collapsed and died November 2 while standing in line at an airport in Mexico City. He was 61.

A chronology of his nearly 30 years at NIH includes his leadership positions in the NIAID Influenza Program, the Viral Vaccines Program, the Influenza and Viral Respiratory Diseases Program, the AIDS Program, and the Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Program (and Division) before he became NIAID deputy director.

Throughout his career, he was an internationalist, dedicated to the eradication of worldwide health scourges; in that endeavor, he served as

n A major organizer of the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria, an international effort spanning agencies from the United States, Europe, and Africa

n A member of the World Health Organization (WHO) expert advisory groups on vaccines and biologicals, as well as vaccines and immunization

n Chairman of the WHO Task Force on Strategic Planning for the Children’s Vaccine Initiative

n An advisor to Pan American Health Organization programs in vaccine research implementation

n A member of the board of the Global Alliance for Tuberculosis Drug Development

He was also involved in biodefense strategies and NIH security and ethics initiatives.

In the words of NIAID Director Tony Fauci: "All of us are profoundly saddened by the loss of John La Montagne. Personally, he was a dear friend and one of the finest people I have ever known. Professionally, in an NIH career spanning nearly 30 years, his leadership and commitment to improving global health were remarkable. His generosity, wit, even-handedness and kindness made him a friend to all who knew him. He will be sorely missed." n


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