Neglected tropical diseases

Obituary, Professor Gustavo Kourí Flores

05 May 2011 | Geneva

Professor Gustavo Kourí Flores

It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the passing away on 5 May 2011 of Professor Gustavo Kourí Flores, Director General of the "Pedro Kourí" Tropical Medicine Institute (Instituto Pedro Kourí – IPK) in Havana, Cuba.

Professor Kourí Flores has been a member of the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group of the World Health Organization's Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases since 2007.

In April 2011, he was awarded the title of Founding Director of IPK in recognition of his more than 30 years of leadership at the institute.

Professor Kourí Flores was a reputable scientist and a well known dedicated researcher in the field of communicable diseases, particularly dengue. Under his leadership and guidance, IPK evolved over the years to become a centre of excellence in parasitology and tropical medicine. He also played a leading role in the development of human resources in medical microbiology, infection control, epidemiology of communicable diseases and social research.

Until his death, Professor Kourí Flores was director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Research and Training in Medical Malacology and Biological Control of Vectors and Intermediate Hosts, one of three PAHO/WHO collaborating centers, housed at IPK. He was a member of the Joint Coordinating Board of The Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) and a member of the Council of the International Society of Infectious Diseases. He also served on PAHO's Centennial Advisory Board in 2002, the year the organization celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Professor Kourí Flores will be remembered for his smile and warm words of welcome to all visitors and colleagues at IPK. His loss leaves a void in the fight against tropical diseases.

The Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases and The Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases wish to convey their deepest condolences to his family and to all the community of researchers particularly our colleagues at IPK.

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