Neglected Diseases, Independent Thinkers, and a fair share of Family Pride

My dad is pretty great. I have written about my mom (alias: My #1 Supporter) and I have written about my brother (alias: classic overachiever/ future Dr.Dr.DH) but I havent really touched on the awesome possum that is my father. So here is a list of things that you should know about him:

1) When I was a baby, my dad would wake up at the break of dawn and hike around our island home with me on his back. We bonded.

2) My dad is an academic super-star. For better or worse, his example has inspired my own desire to attend graduate school.

3) If you ever wanted to meet someone who has changed and continues to change the world… that person could be my father. In addition to his scientific research in the field of immune resistance, he has been instrumental in the push by western academics to improve the accessibility of essential medicines to developing countries. I could tell you more but his talk at the Neglected Global Diseases Symposium (video below) covers many of the important facts. If you have 30 minutes and want to learn something about global health, microbiology (for idiots… if I can understand it, you can too), and medicine in developing countries, I highly recommend the video (and no, not just because he is my father).

4) He really cares about his work: both in the lab and out of it. He was awarded UBC’s illustrious Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring for the 2010/2011 school year and I can vouch for his tireless efforts at encouraging the development of the undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students that pass through his doors. Here is a video about that:

What else can be said? As a child, I used to tell people that my dad “works on Pseudomonas aeruginosa.” I mostly said this because I was proud that I could say Pseudomonas aeruginosa at the tender age of 8. Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Has a lovely ring to it. Now I tell people about what my dad does because it is awesome. Because he is awesome. And because I am unbelievably proud to call him Dad.

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