(Late) Alan Magill

(Late) Alan Magill


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Late Alan J. Magill, MD, FASTMH, was past-president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) in 2014.  A noteworthy feature of his presidential year was the Ebola outbreak in Africa; he led efforts by the Society to address this horrific epidemic, including support for urgent scientific work and communication, and the need to respect the human rights aspects of the epidemic. He was greatly interested in the future of the Society, in particular its attention to its core missions of sharing scientific evidence, informing health policy, fostering career development, recognizing excellence, and advocating for investment in tropical medicine research. His efforts allowed us to move noticeably closer to the Society’s vision of a world free of tropical infectious diseases.

Alan was the director of the Malaria Program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Under his leadership the Foundation made great strides in its ambitious goal to eradicate malaria. Although there is a long way to go, we have clearly turned the tide on malaria and we have Alan to thank as one of the leading engineers of this success story. More broadly, he was an enthusiastic educator about infectious diseases, and a global leader in the fight against them.

Following his medical training, Alan served with distinction for 26 years in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, with a focus on clinical infectious diseases and research. His activities included clinical work in Germany, leading the Parasitology group at the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 6 Peru, directing research efforts to identify important impacts of malaria and leishmaniasis in U.S. military campaigns, and leadership in infectious diseases research at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. He was then a program leader at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency before moving to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Among Alan’s many accomplishments were leading multiple research efforts at the U.S. Department of Defense, including the development of multiple diagnostics and treatments for malaria and leishmaniasis; discovery of a novel parasitic disease, viscerotropic leishmaniasis; serving as lead editor on the ninth edition of Hunter’s Tropical Medicine and Emerging Infectious Diseases, a leading textbook; serving as coeditor for CDC Health Information for International Travel (the Yellow Book), the leading resource for travel medicine information in the United States; and authorship of numerous scientific papers and book chapters on malaria, leishmaniasis, travel medicine, and other topics in infectious diseases and military medicine.

Dr. Alan Magill oversaw the development and implementation of strategies for the Gates foundation’s ultimate goal of the eradication of malaria using current tools and strategies as well as developing new generations of vaccines, diagnostics, and anti-malarial therapies to be used in novel and innovative ways.

Before joining the Global Health Program in 2012, Dr. Magill worked at the Defense Advanced Research Program Agency (DARPA), and was responsible for accelerating program development for their pandemic influenza initiative. Dr. Magill has also served as Head of Parasitology at the US Navy’s Medical Research Center in Peru and has lived in Germany, where he was a clinician.

Dr. Magill was board-certified in internal medicine with a subspecialization in infectious disease. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Lamar University, had a Master of Science from the University of Rhode Island and an MD from Baylor University. He completed his residency at the Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii, the headquarters of the Pacific Regional Medical Command.

Contributed Lectures


Micro Lecture