Society For Vector Ecology
est. 1968

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In Memoriam

Alan Jon Magill
November 26, 1953-September 19, 2015

Alan Jon Magill, 61, passed away Saturday September 19, 2015 near his home in Woodway, Washington. He was born November 26, 1953 in Craig, Colorado. Alan is survived by his wife of 31 years, Janiine Babcock, his daughter Lara Magill and her husband Jonathan Krynitsky, his daughter Sarah Magill, and his brother Donald Magill. Alan served for 26 years in the U.S. Army Medical Corp building the foundation for his career as an infectious disease doctor and medical researcher. He retired as a Colonel, after leading the military's program to develop drugs and diagnostics to fight malaria and other tropical diseases. In 2012, Alan was honored to join the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as its Director of Malaria Programs. He was inspired by the exceptional individuals at the Foundation who helped him build his vision for a malaria-free world. The only thing surpassing his passion for global health was his love of family. Alan's tenderness, goofiness, and unconditional love grounded us. His uncanny ability to see into our hearts made him an incredibly compassionate man who would always listen and always hold us. His strength and drive made him unbeatable at board games, miniature golf, and poker, while his love for adventure and the great outdoors took him to some of the most wild and beautiful places in the world. Obituary for Dr. Magill.

Alan was a great friend to vector control and entomology, sometimes remarking that “I should have been an entomologist.” The very complexity of entomology attracted his intellect, at the same time as he was professionally cautious of entomological research for research sake. Officially, he saw vector control as one of the theoretical ways to prevent transmission, coupled with vaccines as the other method. Of course, he knew that the kind of vaccine needed for practical prevention does not yet exist and that vector control was the only realistic way to bring malaria transmission down to a level that supported parasite elimination from the human population. He also saw the great promise in the future of vector control for malaria elimination and he was especially fascinated by our field’s ability to innovate and utilize multiple methods to achieve its aims. Many of us had the pleasure of hearing a detailed and inspiring explanation of his thoughts on these areas at the meetings of the American Mosquito Control Association in February 2014 and at the meetings of the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, of which he was President, in November 2014. These talks met with great acclaim and rightly so, as he showed how the public health community could keep focus on malaria eradication. During the year I worked for him at the Gates Foundation, he was always willing to listen to the “bug guy” and also willing to change his own opinions in response to the realities of entomology. The vector control community has lost a champion who was in the right place at the right time.

Dan Strickman