The following leaders of Southern Africa’s Infectious Diseases Community are hereby acknowledged as honorary life members of the Federation of Infectious Diseases Societies of Southern Africa. They share the common characteristic of having made outstanding contributions to South African Medicine in the field of Infectious Diseases, Clinical Microbiology and Infection Control, and to FIDSSA itself.
Professor Lucille Blumberg is a deputy director at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, a branch of the National Health Laboratory Service, and is based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She heads the Epidemiology Division, which includes the units for Outbreak Response, Travel and International Health, Epidemiology and Surveillance, as well as the Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training programme. She is the medical consultant to the Special Pathogens Unit on rabies and Viral Haemorrhagic fevers. She is an Associate Professor at the University of the Stellenbosch, Western Cape Province. Prof Blumberg is a nationally and internationally renowned Infectious Diseases specialist, clinical microbiologist and travel medicine specialist. Her special interests are tropical and travel-related diseases, zoonosis, drug-resistant TB and management of severe malaria. She is a member of a number of South African and international expert groups and has been involved in a number of outbreaks in South Africa including cholera, rabies, Rift Valley fever, Lujo virus and influenza A H5N1.
Professor Hendrik Koornhof graduated in 1951 at the University of Cape Town and obtained the Diploma at Clinical Pathology at the Royal Postgraduate School of Pathology, Hammersmith, London in 1960, the Diploma in Bacteriology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in 1966 and became a Founder Member of the Royal College of Pathology, London in 1973. He was awarded an Honorary DSc degree by the University of the Witwatersrand in 1997 and was elected Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2009. During his career as medical microbiologist from 1960 to 1991, he was Head of Medical Microbiology at the South African Institute for Medical Research for 31 years, and since 1971, with the establishment of the School of Pathology, he became Professor and Head of the Department of Pathology (Microbiological) (later renamed Department of Medical Microbiology) for twenty years. After his retirement in 1991 he was awarded Emeritus Professor and Honorary Professorial Research Fellow status by the University of the Witwatersrand and in that capacity was Acting Head of the Department of Clinical Microbiology from 1995 to 1998, Acting Head, Sexually Transmitted Infections Reference Centre (STIRC) from 2002 to 2004, Coordinator, Microbiology External Quality Assessment Programme of the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) from 2007 to 2010 and research advisor to the Epidemiology Division of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) from 2005 and the National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory NHLS since 2006.
Regarding his research activities, he was Director of the MRC Emergent Pathogen Research Unit from 1981 to 1992 and his research activities covered a wide range of bacterial pathogens, including salmonellae, Yersinia enterocolitica, Campylobacter jejuni, Legionella pneumophila and multidrug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae and more recently Mycobacterium tuberculosis. He was a senior collaborator in evaluation studies of bacterial vaccines in South Africa, including several polyvalent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine formulations in gold miners in the 1970s initiated by Professor Robert Austrian, and under the direction of Professor Keith Klugman a 9-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in children with and without HIV infection in 2003 and the earlier evaluation of the Salmonella typhi Vi capsular polysaccharide in rural school-aged children. Professor Koornhof received the gold medal from the South African Society for Microbiology in 1992 for outstanding services to microbiology in South Africa over an extended period.
Professor Barry Schoub was born in Johannesburg and received his undergraduate MB BCh at the University of Witwatersrand, followed by an MD and DSc. He is a Fellow of the College of Pathology of South Africa, Fellow of the Royal College of Pathology, a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa and an elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. He was appointed as the first Professor and Head of the Department of Virology of the University of the Witwatersrand in 1978 at the age of 33 and in 1982 became the Director of the National Institute for Virology. In January 2002 Professor Schoub was appointed as the Executive Director of the newly established National Institute for Communicable Diseases, a post he has held until his retirement at the end of August 2010.
In 1977 he received a United States Public Health Service international postdoctoral fellowship and was the first recipient of the James Gear International Postdoctoral Fellowship and was a Fogarty fellow at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, USA, until the latter part of 1978. Barry has been a member of a number of international bodies and has served as an advisor for several WHO programmes including polio, measles, RSV and influenza. He was a member of the Advisory Committee for Poliomyelitis Eradication [ACPE] of the World Health Organization. He was a member of the Board of the International Association of Public Health Institutes (IANPHI) and has served on the Task Force for Immunization for WHO (AFRO). Barry was a member of the interim board of the International Society of Influenza and Respiratory Viruses and served as South Africa’s delegate to the International Union of Microbiological Societies. He was the founding Chairman and current member of the National Advisory Group on Immunization of South Africa and was the founding President of the African Virology Association. He is the chairman of the Scientific Advisory Panel and vice-chairmen of the Board of Trustees of the Poliomyelitis Research Foundation He served on the Scientific Advisory Committee of the South African AIDS Vaccine initiative. He was on the International Scientific Advisory Committees of the 1990, 1996 and 1999 International Congresses of Virology and the 1996 and 1998 International AIDS Congresses He has published over 270 scientific publications, 16 chapters in books and has written a book on HIV/AIDS, entitled “AIDS & HIV in Perspective”, published by Cambridge University Press now in its 2nd edition. Amongst the awards he has received are the Paul Harris Award of Rotary International and the Daubenton prize of the University of the Witwatersrand.
The following internationally renowned specialists have been made honorary life members of FIDSSA:
Professor Nicholas White is Professor of Tropical Medicine at the Faculty of Tropical Medicine Mahidol University and Oxford University, and is also a Consultant Physician at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK. He has lived in Thailand and worked in the Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University since 1980. Professor White chairs the Wellcome Trust Tropical Medicine Research Programme in South-East Asia, and the Oxford Tropical Medicine Network (encompassing research groups in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Kenya and the Gambia). He also currently co-chairs the World Health Organization anti-malarial treatment guidelines committee and the WHO Global Malaria Programme case management cluster. His principal research interests are malaria, particularly the pathophysiology and treatment of malaria, and also other severe tropical infectious diseases (melioidosis, typhoid, pyogenic, tuberculosis and fungal meningitis, dengue, viral encephalitis, pneumococcal infections, diphtheria and tetanus). His is currently on the editorial boards of 11 scientific journals including The Lancet, PLOS Medicine, the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. He has published over 760 scientific papers and over 39 book chapters.