Leader in the fight against malaria passes away

Malaria community mourns the sudden loss of Alan Magill

21 Sep 2015

MMV was saddened to learn of the untimely passing of Alan Magill on Saturday, 19 September, in Seattle.

As Director of the Malaria Program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Alan not only staunchly believed that new, affordable and targeted medicines would help the world achieve malaria eradication, he was also a loyal partner and supporter of MMV. He lent his strong voice to the global fight against malaria at numerous conferences and meetings. 

Alan’s unexpected death is a terrible loss for MMV and undoubtedly for the entire malaria community.

We will all miss his leadership, dedication, invaluable intellectual input and his kindness.

Below is the statement issued by Bill and Melinda Gates for this sad occasion:

The scientific community has lost an amazing leader, and our foundation has lost a treasured friend and colleague. 

Although Alan led our foundation’s work on malaria, his influence went far beyond any single disease. He had a rare gift for bringing people together and helping them work toward a common goal. He also combined a deep knowledge of science with a hard-earned understanding of what happens out in the field. He knew that insights gained in the laboratory only matter if they improve people’s lives. 

For the two of us, Alan was a wonderful teacher. He was gentle and easygoing, and he had a delightful sense of humor. We saw his tenderness shine through whenever we had the privilege of traveling with him to developing countries. He recognized the dignity in every person he met. His caring and love for others were undeniable. 

 Most importantly, Alan never gave up on the idea that humanity can wipe out terrible diseases. His optimism was contagious, to us and everyone else who was lucky enough to know him. When we talk about the kinds of leaders we want at the foundation, we simply say: We want more people like Alan Magill. 

We will miss Alan’s passion, his intellect, and his guidance. His work will continue through the strategies he set in motion. In the future, people will look back on what he did over the past few years and see it as the basis for eradicating malaria. Alan’s legacy is simple but profound: He saved lives.

 Our thoughts are with his family and many friends around the world.