Ford von Reyn MED ’69, (D’67) a professor of medicine, an infectious disease specialist, and director of the DarDar International Programs at Geisel School of Medicine, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) in Tanzania during the university’s December 2022 commencement ceremonies. The award cited his contributions to the Dartmouth-MUHAS research and training collaboration and was conferred by the Vice President of Tanzania, Philip Mpango, prior to awarding of 950 degrees to new graduates.
In 2000, von Reyn began collaborating with MUHAS on developing the Dartmouth TB vaccine, DAR-901. A 2,000-participant clinical trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) showed the vaccine to be effective, the first TB vaccine in 85 years shown to protect against the disease in a Phase 3 trial. This trial initiated the strong and enduring DarDar partnership between MUHAS and Geisel.
He is now embarking on a new TB study with Tanzanian Principal Investigator Maryam Amour, MD, TDI ’15; he and his Geisel colleagues are also working on a plan to establish a permanent vaccine research collaboration with MUHAS.
The DarDar Program, started in 2001 by von Reyn and Kisali Pallangyo, MD, then Vice Chancellor at MUHAS, has emphasized bi-directional research and training programs focused on HIV and TB. With more than 20 years of funding from the NIH Fogarty International Center, the grant has supported 18 Tanzanian colleagues, Amour among them, in obtaining PhD or MPH degrees at Dartmouth to continue their public health work and research on HIV. Over the years, many Dartmouth undergraduate and graduate students have participated in DarDar research, clinical electives, or internships in Tanzania.
Von Reyn also secured funding for the DarDar research laboratory and for construction of the DarDar Infectious Diseases Clinic, a major resource for research at MUHAS and for the clinical care of children and adolescents living with HIV in Dar-es-Salaam.
In his commencement remarks von Reyn recognized Geisel faculty who have participated in this collaboration, including Richard Waddell, DSC, and Lisa Purvis, MBA, MPH; Lisa Adams MED ’90, associate dean for global health, who is Principal Investigator for the current Fogarty training grant; and Jay Buckey, MD, professor of medicine, who continues his NIH-sponsored research on hearing loss and cognitive impairment in children with HIV in Tanzania.
Addressing his MUHAS colleagues von Reyn said, “It has been my great pleasure over these past two decades to get to know so many dedicated and accomplished Tanzanian colleagues, many of whom I can call friends. And to get to know the beauty of your remarkable country. I will always cherish this token of the work we have done together.”
During a reception following the ceremony, U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania, Donald Wright, MD, had high praise for Dartmouth’s work in Tanzania. Professor Pallangyo noted von Reyn’s commitment to strengthening research capacity and provision of healthcare through the Fogarty training grants. And former trainees added a personal note of thanks to von Reyn who not only facilitated their training, but who remains a mentor and a friend.
About the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Founded in 1797, the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth strives to improve the lives of the communities it serves through excellence in learning, discovery, and healing. The Geisel School of Medicine is renowned for its leadership in medical education, healthcare policy and delivery science, biomedical research, global health, and in creating innovations that improve lives worldwide. As one of America’s leading medical schools, Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine is committed to training new generations of diverse leaders who will help solve our most vexing challenges in healthcare.