Robert S. Desowitz

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Robert S. Desowitz, PhD (January 2, 1926 in New York - March 24, 2008 in Pinehurst, North Carolina), was a researcher of tropical medicine, parasites, and malaria, and an author.

Robert S. Desowitz, PhD
Robert S. Desowitz

January 2, 1926
New York
DiedMarch 24, 2008(2008-03-24) (aged 82)
Pinehurst, North Carolina
Occupationresearcher of tropical medicine, parasites, and malaria, and author
Spouse(s)Carrolee Desowitz[1]
ChildrenDuba Desowitz-Leibell, Gregory Desowitz[1]

Life and careerEdit

Desowitz was born in New York, where he attended Niagara Falls High School. He served in the United States Army from 1944 to 1946. He received a bachelor's degree from the University at Buffalo in 1948. He earned a double doctorate in parasitology and medical biology from the University of London in 1951.[2]

From 1951 to 1960, he worked for West African Institute for Trypanosomiasis Research in Vom, Nigeria.[1] In 1960, he joined the University of Malaya in Singapore as Professor of Parasitology, where he worked until 1965. He then worked as Chief of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization Laboratory's Department of Parasitology in Bangkok from 1965 to 1968.[2] While working there, he spent time doing research in Papua New Guinea.[1]

Desowitz worked from 1968 to 1995 as a professor in public health, tropical medicine, and microbiology at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii.[2][3] During his tenure there, he spent time researching malaria in Kenya.[1]

Upon retirement as professor emeritus from the University of Hawaii, Desowitz worked as adjunct professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina's School of Public Health.[2]


  • New Guinea Tape Worms and Jewish Grandmothers, 1987
  • The Thorn in the Starfish, 1988
  • The Malaria Capers, 1991
  • Tropical Diseases: From 50, 000 BC to 2500 AD, 1997
  • Who Brought Pinta to the Santa Maria, 1998
  • Federal Body Snatchers and the New Guinea Virus: Tales of Parasites, People and Politics, 2004


  1. ^ a b c d e Miller, Louis H.; Duffy, Patrick E. (June 2008). "Robert S. Desowitz January 2, 1926–March 24, 2008". American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 78 (6): 849–850. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d Altonn, Helen (3 April 2008). "UH professor emeritus put passion into medical study". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  3. ^ Kevles, Bettyann (26 November 1991). "Malaria Is Still Thriving, and It Tells a Saga of Human Tragedy : THE MALARIA CAPERS, More Tales of Parasites and People, Research and Reality, by Robert S. Desowitz; W.W. Norton". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 13 August 2015.