Antonio D’Alessandro was one of those amazing role models that you always remember, and who have a major impact on your life. I worked with him as a faculty colleague from 1990 when I started as an assistant professor in tropical medicine until he retired about 10 years later. Even though we were faculty colleagues, I learned more from him about tropical medicine than I have from anyone else in my career. He was truly a gentleman and a scholar, but he had a very disarming manner that really connected with people on a personal level and kept you engaged and entertained–he was so funny and that was one of his gifts. Not only had he seen and managed more tropical and parasitic diseases than anyone else I knew, he could really engage his students and convey what he knew so effectively. He was truly a character with his white coat and bow tie, and his huge collection of Latin American pre Columbian art. His former students and I will truly miss him.
—RICHARD OBERHELMAN, MD PROFESSOR AND DEPARTMENT CHAIR GLOBAL COMMUNITY HEALTH AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES
Antonio was the quintessential Latin gentleman, gracious and generous. In addition to science he loved aesthetics. His home was a museum of art, pre-Colombian and gaucho artifacts. He never failed to bring an antique trinket as a hostess gift from his many excursions to antique stores and auctions. He even brought over several pictures to our house (he and Rachel lived across the street) to liven up our “too bare” walls and rearranged our furniture to improve the aesthetic. He enjoyed his afternoon sherry, which, as a scientist he measured. I have fond memories of our tour of his beloved Buenos Aires concluding with us enjoying a cortado and media luna in a lovely Buenos Aires cafe. He always had time for friends and seemed so pleased when we called. He was gracious and generous as a scientist, with his art, aesthetic appreciation, and his friendship and is greatly missed.
—PATRICIA DORN, PhD
PROFESSOR OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, LOYOLA UNIVERSITY NEW ORLEANS
ADJUNCT ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR TULANE UNIVERSITY
Where do I even begin to talk about Antonio D’Alessandro? If I describe him as a professional colleague, I could go on and on about his amazing clinical and scientific acumen and his wonderful collegiality. However, that’s not what I remember him most for. What endeared Antonio to me and possibly most others were his marvelous capacity for friendship, his amazing propensity for humor in the toughest of situations, and his ability to enliven an occasion when he joined you. To me, Antonio was not only a dear friend, but a trusted mentor who was the first person I would go to for counsel when I had to make a difficult decision. In a work environment where we all tend to get too busy and too often forget about making time for friendly interactions, Antonio was the one exception. He was the one who would always stop by at my office door to chat briefly every morning and several times during the day. Most days, he would invite me to go to lunch with him and whenever we did, his calm and pleasant interactions always resulted in me returning to my office feeling energized and more at peace. I would add that Antonio was the epitome of a true gentleman. Getting to know him was my privilege and I am glad I was able to share some of his happy (and some not so happy) moments. This included my being able to give him his first ride in a convertible with the top down; it was great to see him so happy – almost like a child! Good-bye, my friend, we all miss you very much!
—LATHA RAJAN, MD
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF CLINICAL TROPICAL MEDICINE
In Memoriam: Dr. Antonio D’Alessandro Bacigalupo
We sadly announce the passing of long time friend and colleague Antonio D’Alessandro in Buenos Aires, Argentina on February 28, 2016 where he had been in retirement since 2008. Antonio was born in Buenos Aires in 1926. Upon completing his Medical degree at the University of Buenos Aires in 1952, he began his graduate studies in the Department of Tropical Medicine at Tulane University receiving the MPHTM degree in 1957 and his Ph.D. in 1961. He was a member of the original group of students who studied under the tutelage of Professor Paul C. Beaver who succeeded Professor Ernest Carrol Faust as the Chair of the Department of Parasitology. After completing his doctoral studies, Antonio joined the faculty as the Scientist/Administrator of the U.S. NIH sponsored Tulane International Center for Medical Research and Training (ICMRT) in Cali, Colombia in association with the Universidad de Valle in Cali. He continued in that position for 23 years. The ICMRT program evolved into the Centro Internacional de Investigaciones Medicas (CIDEIM/ICIDR). His own research studies focused on American trypanosomiasis and polycystic hydatid disease.
Following his return to Tulane in 1984, he participated in the teaching program of the Department of Tropical Medicine and served ably as Acting Chairman of the Department from 1985-1988.
In 2008, after retirement as Emeritus Professor, Antonio and his wife Rachel moved back to Buenos Aires. While in Colombia, Antonio developed a deep admiration for Pre-Colombian art and amassed a magnificent collection of ceramics and other artifacts which he beautifully displayed in his residences. Recently, Antonio donated his collections to Fundacion Costantini, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires where it can now be enjoyed by the public.
Antonio was preceded in death by his wife Rachel in 2012 whom he met while both were students at Tulane. They were married for 52 years. He is survived by daughter Marcella and son Antonio Juan both of whom live in the United States. Antonio will be deeply missed by friends and colleagues from around the world.