ICAP at Columbia University mourns the death of Dr. Mathilde Krim, a pioneer in the quest to bring health and dignity to those affected by the global HIV epidemic and one whose name is indelibly associated with ICAP’s work.
“Mathilde Krim was an inspiration to everyone who works in the field of global health—and especially to those who work to control the HIV epidemic—and all of us at ICAP are deeply affected by her passing,” said Wafaa El-Sadr, the Dr. Mathilde Krim-amfAR Chair of Global Health at the Mailman School of Public Health and the global director of ICAP. “She will be remembered not only for her groundbreaking research, but also for her tireless advocacy to raise awareness about the disease and to fight for the dignity of those affected by it. As the holder of the endowed chair named in her honor, I am committed to keeping her indomitable spirit alive as we work on advancing the health and well-being of people around the world.”
Dr. Krim was at the forefront of the philanthropic and scientific responses to AIDS long before the world fully appreciated its tragic global reach. In 1985, she joined forces with Elizabeth Taylor to establish the American Foundation for AIDS Research—amfAR. As Board Chair for two decades, Dr. Krim presided over a research portfolio that contributed to the development of new classes of antiretroviral drugs, modeled the first successful community-based clinical trials network, and founded a collaborative research and education network focused on Asia’s growing HIV epidemic and on identifying a cure for HIV infection. She was also a driving force behind the development and passage of legislation that remains the backbone of the federal response to AIDS.
In November 2015, the Trustees of Columbia University approved the Dr. Mathilde Krim-amfAR Chair of Global Health, a new endowed professorship in global health at the Mailman School of Public Health. Dr. El-Sadr, professor of epidemiology and director of ICAP and an internationally recognized leader in prevention and treatment of people with HIV/AIDS globally, was the chair’s inaugural recipient. The chair was endowed through the generosity of the Hess Foundation at the bequest of Norma Hess and of amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.
Dr. El-Sadr herself served as a member of amfAR’s Board for several years and was honored by amfAR for her groundbreaking research on women and HIV/AIDS on World AIDS Day 2004.
An insightful scientist and a determined advocate, Dr. Krim served as a member of the Mailman School’s Board of Overseers and partnered with many members of the school’s faculty to raise understanding about the importance of fighting stigma and discrimination with the same urgency that drove scientists to combat this epidemic.
Today, the ICAP family joins the global health community in mourning the loss of a true hero—an unforgettable figure in the history of the global HIV response.
Photo Caption: Dr. Mathilde Krim (seated) at the home of clothing designer, HIV activist, and philanthropist Kenneth Cole in New York City on the occasion of naming Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr the Dr. Mathilde Krim-amfAR Chair of Global Health at the Mailman School of Public Health. Seen with her are (from left to right) Dean Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH, dean of the Mailman School of Public Health; Betsy Williams, member of Board of Overseers at the Mailman School of Public Health; Wafaa El-Sadr; Kenneth Cole; and Kevin Frost, CEO of amfAR.