KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday June 23, 2016 – The University of the West Indies (UWI) has paid tribute to Professor Dave Chadee, considered one of the world’s foremost experts on vector-borne diseases and the Aedes aegypti mosquito, who died suddenly on Tuesday.
The UWI said the work of the Trinidadian renowned entomologist and parasitologist has positively affected the lives of hundreds of millions of people across the world.
Professor Chadee led research into mosquito-spread diseases such as dengue fever, yellow fever, and malaria and, most recently, the Zika virus. His work on mosquitoes has guided the development of mosquito traps, new disease surveillance systems, and new control strategies.
Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles described Chadee as “a brilliant, dedicated, outstanding colleague; a superb researcher and public servant” and noted that he was “always willing to serve the public of this region to his maximum.”
Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the St. Augustine Campus, Professor Clement Sankat added Chadee’s work has been nationally, regionally and internationally recognized both for its scholarly impact as well as its applicability and timeliness.
“His research has helped position The UWI as a leader in this field of research, advising countries like Brazil, China, Sri Lanka and Malaysia on vector control programmes. A humble man from Tableland, Trinidad, he cared for his community and country. His shoes will be very difficult to fill,” Sankat said.
— Matthew Eng (@m3ngineer) June 22, 2016
Professor Clive Landis, Chair of The UWI’s Regional Task Force on Zika to which Chadee had been appointed along with 12 others in February, said the Caribbean has lost “its foremost authority on mosquito prevention”.
At the time of his passing, Professor Chadee was Professor of Environmental Health and Subject Leader in Bioethics in The UWI St. Augustine’s Department of Life Sciences.
He specialised in the ecology, surveillance, ethics, epidemiology and control of vector-borne diseases. He ran the only postgraduate course in Bioethics for research students at The UWI St. Augustine Campus and was a member of The UWI Ethics Committee. Most recently, he also served as the current Chair of the campus’ Open Lectures Committee. He also held adjunct professor posts at the Department of Tropical Medicine, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University in New Orleans; the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami and at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
As a recognized authority in his field, Professor Chadee’s expertise was highly sought after. He was appointed to several international expert panels at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Washington, DC, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna and on the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to name a few.
In addition, he was awarded research grants from notable entities such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Fogarty, the European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency. He was also the recipient of numerous local, regional and international awards. Among them, a 2013 Anthony N Sabga Caribbean Award for Excellence (ANSCAFE) in Science and Technology, a 2015 award from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for his “Outstanding Contribution in the Area of Public Health including Vector Control” and the award for “Most Outstanding International Research Project—Biology and behaviour of male mosquitoes in relation to new approaches to control disease transmitting mosquitoes” at the 2016 UWI-NGC Research Awards earlier this month.
Professor Chadee published over 300 publications in international journals and had several collaborations with scientists from the USA and the UK.