Professor Malcolm Casadaban (1949-2009, RIP)

Professor Malcolm Casadaban a well respected molecular geneticist and leading researcher of the origins of bubonic plague (historical cause of the Black Death) has died from a septicaemic (plague) version of the same infection.

The World honors you Dr. Casadabam, for taking the significant risks you did in this important field of work. The consequences for you and your family are too great to bear.

A website has been created in Malcolm's honor by his daughter, Leigh (http://leighceee.webs.com/index.htm).

Malcolm Casadaban Demographics:
  • Name - Professor Malcolm J. Casadaban
  • Born - 1949
  • Died - September 13, 2009
  • Home town - New Orleans.
  • Fiancé - Casia Holmgren
  • Children - Brooke Casadaban & Leigh Casadaban
  • Work - Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Chicago
  • Occupation - Molecular geneticist
Malcolm Casadaban Academic Life:
  • M.I.T., B.S. Biology, Harvard University (1971).
  • Ph.D. Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Stanford University (1976).
  • "He was a highly respected scientist with a brilliant mind" and a "humble man of high integrity, loyalty and loving kindness".
  • It is extremely unfortunate that Professor Casadaban died while doing research to find a stronger vaccine for this very serious infectious disease (plague).
Professor Malcolm Casadaban's Last Illness:
  • "Malcolm started having flu like symptoms on Monday, Sept. 7 (Labor Day). On September 13 he was taken to the ER at the Univ. of Chicago where he passed away about 12 hours later." (Casia Holmgren, Fiancé)
  • He was admitted to the University of Chicago's Emergency Room with shortness of breath on September 13, 2009, but within 12 hours had died.
  • A weakened strain of Yersinia pestis was found in his blood stream.
  • The most likely diagnosis is septicaemic plague, which can kill even before significant symptoms begin.
  • Malcolm Casadaban did not have any of the usual swellings associated with bubonic plague on his body.
  • No other obvious cause for death has been found.
  • This Yersinia pestis strain was not previously known to cause illness in humans.

Yersinia pestis strain:
  • Weakened strain being studied by Prof Casadaban at the University of Chicago was not known to cause illness.
  • This version of Yersinia pestis had been stripped of its dangerous components, having been developed as a plague vaccine in the late 1960s to help some countries to protect against bubonic plague.
  • Approved for laboratory study by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in US.
  • "This organism has been studied in the lab for 40-plus years. This is the first time this has happened," Kenneth Alexander, an infectious diseases expert at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
CDC Bioterrorism Video about Plague

Related Links:

Posted by ALCHEssMIST.
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Unknown said...

Malcolm started having flu like symptoms on Monday, Sept. 7 (Labor Day). On September 13 he was taken to the ER at the Univ. of Chicago where he passed away about 12 hours later.

Casis Holmgren (fiancee)

ALCHEssMIST said...

Thank you Casia for clearing up the error in the posting. I have made the appropriate corrections.

Very best wishes.

Unknown said...

Thank you --

and if you have any questions or comments, let me know.

Casia Holmgren

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