In Memoriam: Professor David Cooper

The Union is saddened to hear of the passing of Professor David Cooper - the Inaugural Director of the Kirby Institute for Infection and Immunity in Society and the Past President of the International AIDS Society (IAS).

Internationally, Professor Cooper was recognised as a leading HIV clinician and clinical investigator. He initiated ground-breaking research into the infectious disease and was one of the first to respond to the worldwide AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s.

The Kirby Institute, established in 1986, has long been the pillar of HIV and AIDS epidemiology, surveillance and research in Australia. As the Inaugural Director of the Kirby Institute, Professor Cooper worked with HIV clinicians and researchers around the world, but perhaps nowhere as closely as in Asia. Under his direction, the Kirby Institute developed collaborative programmes in several countries across the Asia-Pacific region.
Under his leadership, the programmes involved training healthcare workers and health researchers, and advising governments on public health and clinical policy to increase access to essential medicines.
In 1996, he co-founded HIV-NAT, a clinical research and trials collaboration based at the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre at the Chulalongkorn University Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. He has authored more than 800 published scientific papers and been on editorial boards of several international journals.
During his tenure as IAS President, he led the International AIDS Conference in Vancouver, Canada (AIDS 1996). That conference, which presented the introduction of combination therapy, served as a turning point in the history of AIDS. His leadership helped usher in a new era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). 

Professor Cooper passed away on Sunday 18 March in Sydney, Australia, after a short illness.