USAMRMC Mourns Loss of Dr. Alan Magill
On Saturday, Sept. 19, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research lost one of its own. For a total of 18 years, Dr. Alan Magill brought the Institute his immense talent for thoughtful inquiry, his love of fun, and especially, his compassion for and love of people, both sick and well.
Alan served for 26 years in the U.S. Army Medical Corp as an infectious disease doctor and medical researcher. He retired as a colonel after taking part in and leading many research endeavors to develop drugs and diagnostics to fight malaria and other tropical diseases. During Operation Desert Storm, Magill helped the Army recognize leishmaniasis affecting U.S. Service Members, a finding that led to further important research and many changes in policy for the health of the force. Col. Magill researched and reported on the enormous impact of malaria on deployed Service Members in Somalia during Operation Restore Hope from 1992 to 1994. Dr. Magill has also served as head of Parasitology at the U.S. Navy's Medical Research Center in Peru and worked in Germany, where he was a clinician. The Military Infectious Diseases Research Program at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command assigned him many leadership roles in their work to prevent the mission-stopping impact of infectious diseases on the health of the force.
At the WRAIR, Magill served as medical researcher and leader in various capacities in the then Division of Communicable Diseases and Immunology, as well as WRAIR science director and director of the Division of Experimental Therapeutics. In 2012, Magill took his innovative approaches to the Defense Advanced Research Program Agency, responsible for accelerating program development for their pandemic influenza initiative.
Magill passed away near his home in Woodway, Washington, where he had moved with his family to serve the purpose of global health as director of Malaria Programs at the Gates Foundation.
Dr. Magill's love of family and his willingness to listen and enjoy will be missed by all who knew him. He was inspired and inspired us to create a world free of malaria.
Echoed at the WRAIR and noted by those at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation:
"Alan's tenderness, goofiness and unconditional love grounded us. His uncanny ability to see into our hearts made him an incredibly compassionate man who would always listen and always hold us. His strength and drive made him unbeatable at board games, miniature golf and poker, while his love for adventure and the great outdoors took him to some of the most wild and beautiful places in the world."