The Desmond Tutu Health Foundation was very sad to hear about the passing of our long-time friend and collaborator, Professor David Katzenstein, today of Covid-19 complications. David was a passionate and respected Professor of Medicine at Stanford University, specializing in the treatment and evaluation of HIV infection.
Since the 80s when he and Dr. Wood worked together at Stanford on early virolgical assays, Dave interacted with us over the years with sometimes brilliant and sometimes slightly off the wall ideas. Always, though, he has led with science and curiosity and was always his own man – willing to pursue ideas even if they weren’t popular or mainstream.
He was a determined and passionate virologist but also cared deeply that people had access and were well treated. To this this end he initiated “ZAP” many years ago in Zimbabwe. This project was designed to bring reliable antiviral treatment to more people in Zimbabwe. He made the long journey from California to Harare many times in the last 30 years and raised many dollars for Zim, always wanting to understand at the deepest level what the needs of the community were. He had huge respect and love for the people of Zimbabwe. He was also known to us as a courageous man, having sustained a terrible fracture after an accident a number of years ago and being confined to a wheel chair for many months before he was able to once again walk.
His contribution were protean but particularly significant in diagnostics and drug resistance. He was a wonderful, enthusiastic and effective mentor and colleague and he will be greatly missed.
Rest in peace Dave. We will miss you greatly.