Duke professor’s colleague crash victim

Jul. 18, 2014 @ 07:29 PM

A Duke University professor said the world has lost a “strong advocate for global health” with the death of Joep Lange, a Dutch researcher and the former president of the International AIDS Society.

Lange was among the passengers on the Malaysia Airlines jetliner that crashed Thursday in eastern Ukraine. According to Associated Press reports, Lange and others were headed to an international AIDS conference in Australia.

“The world has lost a great leader and a strong advocate for global health,” Duke professor Michael Merson said in a statement. “We grieve Joep Lange’s death and those of the other AIDS activists and scientists who have tragically died traveling to the 2014 International AIDS Conference in Melbourne.”

Merson is the founding director of the Duke Global Health Institute and a global health professor at the university. According to a news release, he worked with Lange to lead efforts in AIDS treatment with the World Health Organization’s Global Program on AIDS. Merson is the former director of the WHO program. In addition, Lange was part of the launch of the institute at Duke and was a frequent collaborator.