Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A00109 - Adel Mahmoud, Developer of HPV and Rotavirus Vaccines

Mahmoud, Adel
Adel Mahmoud (b. August 24, 1941, Cairo, Egypt – d. June 11, 2018, New York City, New York) was an Egyptian-born American doctor and expert in infectious diseases.  He was credited with developing the HPV and rotavirus vaccines while serving as president of Merck Vaccines.  After retiring from Merck he became a professor at Princeton University.  
Mahmoud was born on August 24, 1941 in Cairo, Egypt.  His father Abdelfattah Mahmoud, who worked as an agricultural engineer, died of pneumonia when Adel was ten. Adel had been sent to buy penicillin, but when he rushed home his father had already died. He was profoundly influenced by the experience. Mahmoud graduated from the University of Cairo in 1963 with an M.D. His mother, Fathia Osman, had been accepted by the university's medical school but was prevented from attending by her brother, who thought women should not be doctors.
While a university student, Mahmood actively participated in politics and served as a leader in the youth move
ment of President Gamal Abdel Nasser.  As the political climate changed, he moved to the United Kingdom to continue his education, and earned a Ph.D. from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1971. In 1973, he emigrated to the United States and became a postdoctoral researcher at Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, and eventually rose to chair the university's Department of Medicine in 1987.
In 1988, Merck & Co. recruited Mahmoud as president of its vaccine division. During his tenure, Mahmoud oversaw the development of several vaccines important to public health, including the rotavirus vaccine and the HPV vaccine.  The former prevents potentially fatal diarrhea for young children caused by rotavirus, while the latter (Gardasil) prevents several cancers, most importantly cervix cancer, caused by the human papillomavirus.  His role was considered pivotal as he overcame significant doubt about the viability of the vaccines and succeeded in bringing them to market.
After retiring from Merck in 2006, Mahmoud became a policy analyst at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs of Princeton University in 2007, and professor of Princeton's Department of Molecular Biology in 2011.
On June 11, 2018, Mahmoud died from a brain hemorrhage at Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital in New York City.
Mahmoud met Dr. Sally Hodder, also an infectious-disease expert, at Case Western Reserve in 1976. They married in 1993. He had a stepson, Jay Thornton.
Mahmoud had a sister, Olfat Abdelfattah, and a brother, Mahmoud Abdelfattah, both doctors.

Friday, June 15, 2018

A00108 - Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin, Founding Member of The Last Poets

Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin (b. July 24, 1944, Brooklyn, New York – d. June 4, 2018, ) was an African American poet and musician. He was one of the founding members of The Last Poets, a group of poets and musicians that evolved in the 1960s out of the Harlem Writers Workshop in New York City.
Nuriddin was born Lawrence Padilla on July 24, 1944, in Brooklyn and grew up in a housing project in the Fort Greene neighborhood. Information on survivors was not immediately available.Earlier in his career he used the names Lightnin' Rod and Alafia Pudim. He is sometimes called "The Grandfather of Rap".
He cofounded the Last Poets in May 1968, with fellow poets Omar Ben Hassan and Abiodun Oyewole, and percussionist Nilijah.

The Last Poets, the critically-acclaimed spoken-word group, won early hip-hop fans over with their political rap vocals behind percussion accompaniments in the early 1970s.

Nuriddin, under the name Lightnin' Rod, also appeared on a 1973 solo album "Hustlers Convention," an album considered to be a cornerstone in the development of what is now a part of global and hip-hop culture.

"Hustlers Convention" became one of the most sampled albums ever made, with groups like the Wu-Tang Clan, Beastie Boys, and Red Hot Chili Peppers lifting ideas from it.

At some point in 1973, Lightnin' Rod transitioned to the name of Jalal Mansur Nuriddin.

Music icons like Miles Davis and Quincy Jones hailed the Last Poets as groundbreakers in the genre that became rap and hip-hop music.  After converting to Islam, the artist changed his name from Alafia Pudim to Jalal Mansur Nuriddin. When Hassan and Oyewole left the Last Poets in 1973, poet Sulaiman El Hadi joined and the group and started using poetry over tribal percussive beats, to an all-out band with spoken word at its core.

Jalal died after a long battle with cancer on June 4, 2018.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

A00107 - Maya Jribi, Tunisian Fighter for Democracy

Jribi, Maya
Maya Jribi (b. January 29, 1960, Bou Arada, Tunisia – d. May 19, 2018, Rades, Ben Arous Governorate, Tunisia) was a Tunisian politician. From 2006 to 2012, she was the leader of the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).  From PDP's merger into the Republican Party in April 2012, until her resignation in 2017, she was the Secretary-General of the centrist party.
Her father was from Tatouine, while her mother was from Algeria.  She followed her studies in Radès Tunisia, before studying biology at the University of Sfax, from 1979 to 1983. During that period, she became involved in, and an active member of, the student union, known as UGET, and the Tunisian League of Human Rights. She wrote for the independent weekly Erraï and later for the PDP-newspaper Al Mawkif.
Together with Ahmed Najib Chebbi, Maya Jribi co-founded the Progressive Socialist Rally, established in 1983, which was later renamed into Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).  After 1986, Jribi was a member of the party's executive. On December 25, 2006, Jribi was appointed Secretary-General of the PDP.  She was the first woman to lead a political party in Tunisia.
From October 1 to 20, 2007, Jribi, along with Najib Chebbi, engaged in a hunger strike to protest against the forced move of the party's headquarters from Tunis, which caused serious health implications for her.
Jribi headed the PDP’s electoral list in Ben Arous for the Constituent Assembly Elections in October 2011. The PDP list received one seat in Ben Arous according to preliminary election results. On April 9, 2012, the PDP merged with other secularist parties to form the Republican Party and Maya Jribi became the leader of this party.
Maya Jribi was an outspoken feminist.  She labeled Israel as a "Zionist construct", and proposed to disallow Israeli pilgrims to visit the El Ghriba synagogue on Djerba island. 
Maya Jribi, announced her retirement, during the Republican Party convention in 2017.

On May 19, 2018, Maya Jribi died of cancer.