Professor Jean-Claude Pechère, immediate Past-President of the International Society of Chemotherapy, died in Geneva on 29th November 2008 following a long illness borne with great dignity and bravery.
Jean-Claude was born in Belgium and trained in microbiology and infectious diseases in Paris and Seattle. He became Director of the Department of Microbiology at Laval University, Quebec in Canada and moved from there to head the Department of Microbiology in the University of Geneva, Switzerland.
He was Editor of ‘Les Infections’, a major textbook on infectious diseases, and wrote 11 other books and also 52 textbook chapters. He published around 350 papers in peer-reviewed journals on many aspects of infection. His research ranged from the molecular biology of bacteria to the action and use of antibiotics. More recently Jean-Claude studied the epidemiology of antibiotic prescription in the community in collaboration with colleagues throughout Europe.
His most recent publication (2007) was a monograph entitled ‘The Intelligent Microbe’, a scientific thriller putting forward the revolutionary idea that microbes are intelligent. He postulated that micro-organisms created the original World-Wide-Web, co-operating to provide most of the oxygen we breathe and all of the energy we consume.
Jean-Claude was a true internationalist. He was passionate about co-operation between the developed world and the emerging economies, especially in Africa and South-East Asia where he travelled widely even after he knew he had malignant disease.
Professor Jean-Claude Pechère was an innovative and active Secretary General (1998-2001), President (2001-2005) and Past-President (2005-2008) of the International Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (ICC) pioneering Disease Management Groups which formed the basis for the development of protocols for the management of infectious diseases in many countries. He made many major contributions to the Society.
Jean Claude will be missed by his many friends around the world.
It is with great regret that we report the death on 30 January 2009 of Faridah Moosdeen, one of the leading figures of the International Society of Chemotherapy (ISC) over the past 20 years.
Faridah was born in Malaya in 1949 and received her Bachelor and Masters degrees in Science from the Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia. In 1975 she went to Vietnam to study for the Diploma in Medical Microbiology at the Pasteur Institute in Saigon. She came to the UK in 1982 to study at the Department of Medical Microbiology at the London Hospital where she was awarded a PhD and passed the MRCPath examination.
In collaboration with the late Professor David Williams she carried out significant research, publishing a number of papers on bacterial resistance mechanisms. On her return from England, Faridah was appointed to an academic post in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the Faculty of Medicine at the Universiti Kebangsaan in Selangor, Malaysia.
From 1995 until 1997 she was Professor of Microbiology at the Medical School of the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. During her time in the Caribbean she studied infections in patients with sickle cell disease and published on this topic with Graham Sergeant, a world authority on haemoglobinopathies. Faridah was one of the founders of the Malaysian Society for Infectious Diseases and Chemotherapy (MSIDC) and also of the Western Pacific Society ofChemotherapy (WPSC). The first Congress of both Societies was held in Kuala Lumpur in 1989 and was organised by Faridah together with her local colleagues. She became Secretary General of the WPSC in 1989 and continued in that post until 1994.
Faridah made major contributions to the International Society of Chemotherapy. From 1991 until 1999 she was Honorary Treasurer of the Society and from 1999 to 2005 was Executive Director, establishing the ISC office in London where she documented the history of the ISC and organised its publications and memorabilia. She was responsible for the organisation of the ISC’s two-yearly Congress in several continents. In 2005 the ISC awarded Faridah Meritorious Membership of the Society.
Faridah’s last few years were clouded by cancer. In spite of this she carried on as normal, refusing to become an invalid, travelling to meetings and corresponding with colleagues and friends. She never complained and bore her illness with great bravery and dignity.