Frank Plummer

Francis Allan Plummer OC OM FRSC (2 December 1952 – 4 February 2020) was a Canadian scientist, academic and HIV/AIDS researcher. He was "a recognized specialist in infectious diseases whose work influenced public health policy in Canada and abroad".[1] He was Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Medical Microbiology at the University of Manitoba and Scientific Director General, National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada. From 1984 until 2000 he worked in Nairobi, Kenya studying sexually transmitted infections. During his time in Kenya, his research described the heterosexual epidemiology of HIV and the role of male circumcision in reducing HIV infection risk in men. While at the National Microbiology Laboratory, he led the Canadian laboratory response to SARS, the H1N1 pandemic and oversaw the development of the successful VSV EBOV vaccine for Ebola viral hemorrhagic fever. Dr. Plummer was working to develop an HIV vaccine[2] at the time of his death, and was believed to be the first recipient in North America to receive DBS (deep brain stimulation) to treat alcohol-use disorder, in an experimental trial.[3][4][5]


In 2006, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.[1] In 2009, he was made a Member of the Order of Manitoba in recognition for being "an internationally renowned physician-scientist and expert in infectious diseases who has significantly contributed to global health".[6] In 2014, he was awarded the Killam Prize for AIDS research.[7] In 2012, he was awarded the Royal Society of Canada's McLaughlin Medal, awarded "for important research of sustained excellence in medical science".[8] He was the recipient of the Canada Gairdner Wightman Award in 2016. As well as many other awards,[specify] Dr. Plummer has honorary degrees from the University of Calgary, McMaster University and the University of Windsor.

Cause of deathEdit

Heart attack, disclosed by his wife Jo Kennelly in a tweet[9].


  1. ^ a b "Order of Canada citation".
  2. ^ "Deep-brain stimulation gave a renowned scientist with alcoholism his life back". Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  3. ^ "'I'd be dead': Renowned scientist gets experimental brain surgery to fight alcoholism". CBC News. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  4. ^ "Deep-brain stimulation gave a renowned scientist with alcoholism his life back". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  5. ^ "Canadian scientist undergoes novel brain stimulation treatment for alcoholism" CTV news. 15 December 2019.
  6. ^ "Order of Manitoba citation". Archived from the original on 2015-01-01. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
  7. ^ "Winnipeg scientist Dr. Frank Plummer awarded Killam Prize for AIDS research".
  8. ^ "McLaughlin Medal winners". Archived from the original on 2016-10-14. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
  9. ^ Kennelly, Jo (2020-02-22). "Today is day of facts. Frank Plummer died of "myocardial ischaemia due to severe coronary atherosclerosis". A heart attack. His death was sudden and unexpected. He died in our arms. The rumours surrounding his death are fake. Frank lived a life of service to science &". @jokennelly. Retrieved 2020-03-16.