Dear ISAC Colleagues
It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of two eminent and highly respected colleagues. Our deepest condolences are with their families, friends and colleagues.
Dr Adel Fahad Al-Othman (1964—2020)
Dr Adel Al-Othman passed away suddenly earlier this month, June 2020, in Saudi Arabia.
The ISAC Executive Committee had the pleasure of working with Dr Al-Othman over the course of two years when he took on the role of Co Programme Chair of the 31st International Congress of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (ICC) – 4th Gulf Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease (GCCMID) in Dubai, November 2019. Dr Alothman was pivotal in helping ISAC bring the ICC to the Gulf Region, a first in ISAC history, and for this, ISAC is very grateful.
Dr Al-Othman graduated in medicine in 1989 and joined the Department of Internal Medicine in King Fahad City- National Guard in 1990. He then got a scholarship in Canada in 1992 to specialise in internal medicine and infectious diseases. He obtained Canadian Fellowship in Internal Medicine in 1996 and Canadian Fellowship in Infectious Diseases in 1998. He returned to join as a consultant in the Department of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases at King Abdulaziz Medical City - National Guard in Riyadh in 1998 until his death.
Dr Al-Othman held many important positions in Saudi Arabia and was also a member of several local, regional and international committees and societies, including: Royal Canadian College of Physicians, Canadian Society of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, American Society for Infectious Diseases, European Society for Infectious Diseases, American Society for Medicinal Epidemiology. He was a member of many Saudi societies and committees in the field of infectious diseases, and he was distinguished in the field of AIDS control, infectious diseases of the weak immune, hospital infection and antibiotics, and medical and clinical scientific research. He was also a member of several charities such as the Manna Charity Association.
Prof. Keiichi Hiramatsu (1950—2020)
Prof. Keiichi Hiramatsu passed away on 5 June 2020 after a long battle with leukaemia. He was originally diagnosed in 2004 and returned to research, carrying on with his work with renewed vigour before succumbing to the illness.
Prof. Hiramatsu was well known to ISAC, having received ISAC’s Hamao Umezawa Memorial Award (HUMA) in 2013 for his outstanding contributions to antimicrobial chemotherapy. In 2019, Prof. Hiramatsu was one the first recipients of the ISAC Fellow Award which is bestowed upon individuals who excel in their field.
Having graduated from Tokyo University Medical School in 1975, Professor Hiramatsu studied internal medicine (1975-1978). He then engaged in research on immunology (1978-1983) and retrovirology (1984-1988) before commencing MRSA research at Juntendo University. Latterly, he was Emeritus Professor, Microbiology Director, Center of Excellence for Infection Control Science.
He will be best known for his achievements in MRSA research including: development of a rapid PCR detection method for MRSA now used in Europe and the USA (1996), discovery of the first VISA Mu50 and hetero-VISA Mu30 (1997) and identification of SCCmec types I~III from healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) and types IV, V from community-associated MRSA (CAMRSA) (1999~2004). He was the first to sequence S. aureus (N315, Mu50) (2001) and CA-MRSA MW2 (2002). He also proposed thickened cell wall and ‘peptidoglycan clogging’ as a mechanism for vancomycin resistance in VISA strains (2003~2007) and discovered of the origin of mecA gene in S. fleurettii (2010).
In 2008, during the screening of natural antibiotics, he re-discovered nybomycin as a ‘Reverse Antibiotic (RA)’ for quinolone resistance.
In 2010, he was elected as a Fellow of American Academy of Microbiology and in 2012, he became the director of newly established Research Centre for Infection Control Science at Juntendo University.
Both colleagues will be deeply missed but their legacies will live on through their achievements.