Professor Joseph Odhiambo

TRIBUTE TO PROFESSOR JOSEPH ODHIAMBO

1954 2012

Dr. Joseph Odhiambo joined the ISAAC Steering Committee in 1999 following on from his position of Principal Investigator for ISAAC Phase One in Nairobi and was also Regional Coordinator for the ISAAC English speaking Africa region, and Principal Investigator for ISAAC Phase One in Nairobi. His death will be a huge loss to both his home country and the international community.

He was a board certified internist and specialist in respiratory diseases, serving previously as senior medical officer, and regional consultant physician (Provincial Physician) at the Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital in Nakuru, Kenya and as guest lecturer on respiratory medicine for both under-graduates and post-graduate medical students at the University of Nairobi, Kenyatta National Hospital. He worked for more than 2 decades in medical research, serving as senior medical research officer at the Centre for Respiratory Disease Research (CRDR) at Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) where he rose through the ranks to position of principal research officer & director, CRDR. During his tenure as centre director, he offered leadership to over 50 members of staff (technical, administrative and support staff) and was responsible to the KEMRI director for the conduct of research in priority lung diseases in Kenya, which witnessed remarkable growth in research capacity and out-put. He also served as the senior technical advisor on TB/HIV for the CDC/GAP program (US Centres for Disease Control & Prevention-Kenya / Global AIDS Program) and as Chair of the National TB/HIV steering committee at the Ministries of Health headquarters in Kenya since 2004, and member of the Tuberculosis Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee (TB-ICC) for the Kenyan Ministry of Health.

Joseph was an enthusiastic member of the ISAAC programme and his scientific and personal contributions to ISAAC will long be remembered. He was a humble and gentle man with a delightful sense of humour and was held in high regard by all members of the Steering Committee. In November 2003 he hosted the highly successful Fourteenth ISAAC Steering Committee meeting at Lake Naivasha Country Club in Kenya, where he introduced the members to his country and acted as a wonderful ambassador. We last spent time with him when he came to Auckland in January 2011 for the last ISAAC Steering Committee meeting (see photo) and ISAAC symposium. Joseph was a much loved friend and colleague of the ISAAC community. He will be greatly missed by us all.