While we see more ramifications of the shooting down of Malaysia Flight MH17, one of the losses is noted researcher Dr Joep Lange. Dr. Lange was a clinical researcher who had been working on HIV since the early years of the virus, participating in clinical trials and training in developing countries. Via Australia’s ABC:
The president of the International AIDS Society says the shooting down of flight MH17 has cost the world a giant in the field of HIV/AIDS research.
About 100 of the 298 people killed on the downed Malaysia Airlines jet were heading to the AIDS 2014 conference in Melbourne, including researchers, health workers, activists and people living with HIV.
IAS president and Nobel laureate Francoise Barre-Sinousi has told the National Press Club in Canberra the loss of life is difficult to comprehend.
“We are all with our phones waiting for confirmation and hoping that it cannot be confirmed,” she said.
Next of kin are still being informed, but Dutch HIV researcher and former IAS president Dr Joep Lange and his wife and collaborator Jacqueline van Tongeren are among those killed.
“It will be a great loss for the HIV/AIDS community,” Professor Barré-Sinousi said.
“It will be a terrible loss for all of us. I have no words really to try to express my sadness. I feel totally devastated if it is confirmed.
“This is really someone special. It’s a giant for us.”
Professor Barré-Sinousi said she worked closely with her predecessor.
“He is the man with the spirit, I used to say the best spirit, which is really he has been trying forever for his life to give for the benefit of mankind.
“A great professional but more than that, a wonderful human being.”
This will likely strike a huge blow to the AIDS/HIV research community and it’s scary to think of the impact on advances in AIDS/HIV research.
And that is something to mourn.