John R. La Montagne, who helped direct infectious disease research and vaccine development at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for nearly 30 years, died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism in Mexico City on November 2. He was 61.

La Montagne was a gifted leader and prescient thinker concerned with emerging infectious disease and global public health long before either became "fashionable," NIAID Director Anthony Fauci told The Scientist. Fauci chose La Montagne as his deputy in 1998, a post he held at the time of his death.

Trained as a microbiologist, La Montagne helped steer the US public health apparatus through some of its most turbulent times, orchestrating the development and licensing of a safer pertussis vaccine, leading NIAID's response to the emerging AIDS crisis, and organizing a research response to severe acute respiratory syndrome within months of the first outbreak. He played key roles...

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