In memoriam: Joep MA Lange (1954–2014)

  • Peter Reiss
  • Published 2014 in Science China Life Sciences


July 17, 2014 marks the date of the brutal and unforgivable shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over the Ukraine, resulting in the death of all its passengers, including my longstanding friends and colleagues Joep Lange and Jacqueline van Tongeren. They were on their way to attend the 20th International Aids Conference, held this year in Melbourne, Australia. I myself had already arrived in Melbourne when I heard the devastating news. I was instantly struck by an uncontrollable grief and outrage, and the feeling of having lost part of myself. Joep and I were the same age: our birthdays are only one day apart, we had gone to medical school together, and since 1981 our careers had evolved in parallel around HIV. Our private lives were also very much intertwined, and Joep had been the knowing matchmaker who introduced me to my future spouse and mother of five of my six children. Jacqueline was also a close friend and colleague who first came to work at the Amsterdam Academic Medical Center in the late ‘80s’ as head nurse of our Aids-unit and subsequently became the coordinating research nurse of the National AIDS Therapy Evaluation Center, established in 1990 as the Dutch HIV trial center, and headed by Joep. She was a pillar of support throughout the intervening years for everyone at the Center and especially for Joep, and she was one of the most caring and loving people I have been privileged to know. In the aftermath of this tragic event, Joep has often been described as a “giant of HIV/AIDS research”, contributing greatly to the well-being of people living with HIV (PLWH). Joep MA Lange

DOI: 10.1007/s11427-014-4749-4

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@article{Reiss2014InMJ, title={In memoriam: Joep MA Lange (1954–2014)}, author={Peter Reiss}, journal={Science China Life Sciences}, year={2014}, volume={57}, pages={1047-1048} }