Dominic Kwiatkowski's Obituary

  • Prof.Dominic Kwiatkowski
  • Head of the parasites and microbes programme at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in Cambridge and Professor of Genomics at the University of Oxford
  • (25 May 1953 - 27 April 2023)

In Loving Memory of Dominic: A Pioneer in Genomics and Malaria Control

It is with deep sorrow that we at the Institute of Endemic Diseases (IEND) mourn the loss of Dominic Kwiatkowski. The loss of Dominic has brought us profound sadness, particularly amidst the widespread suffering and instability that our beloved country, Sudan, is currently enduring. Dominic was a remarkable scientist, mentor, and human being who dedicated his life to the great cause of researching malaria, one of the most devastating diseases affecting millions of people in Africa and other parts of the world. As a crusader for equity in global health, he was not only a distinguished scientist but also a tireless advocate. His relentless efforts focused on building capacity and providing support to African scientists, empowering them in their quest to control and eleminate malaria. Dominic's contributions, spanning over many years, have left an indelible mark on the scientific community and have had a profound impact on the lives of countless individuals, especially those affected by malaria in Africa.
Dominic's journey began with a diverse academic background, having studied physics and neurophysiology before embarking on a career in medicine. Driven by a deep sense of purpose, he focused his attention on tackling the immense burden of malaria, particularly in the vulnerable population of African children. Recognizing the power of genetics, Dominic made groundbreaking contributions to the field, developing tools and techniques to understand how human interventions were driving evolutionary changes in the parasite and mosquito populations. His research centred on using genetics to guide long-term malaria control strategies that would reduce drug and insecticide resistance and, eventually, eliminate the disease.
In 2005, Dominic's visionary spirit inspired him to establish the Malaria Genomic Epidemiology Network (MalariaGEN). With a network comprising over 100 research groups in more than 40 malaria-endemic countries, MalariaGEN became a beacon of collaboration, fostering equitable data sharing and capacity building among partners from both affluent and resource-limited nations. Long a friend of Sudan, he demonstrated his unwavering dedication to science on the continent by insisting on continuing his collaborations in the country when many donors and scientists were abandoning it. As many cut funding and collaborations to reduce their risk of falling foul of sanctions when they couldn't be certain of their implications, he spent the extra time, effort, and possibly cost of determining what was possible and doing everything he could to maintain links and collaborations in the country.
Dominic's work had a profound impact on global health and helped to save countless lives. He was a visionary scientist and a true humanitarian, whose contributions to the field will be felt for generations to come.
So hard to believe, gone way too soon. What an inspirational leader and mentor. Thank you Dominic for your brilliance, kindness, and contributions. Our heartfelt condolences to all those who loved him, family, friends and colleagues.
RIP our dear friend.