Tribute to Keerti Shah

Dr. Keerti V. Shah MBBS, MPH, DrPH

A tribute to a great scientist and a legendary man

On Sunday, July 21, 2019, the papillomavirus research community lost one of our greats to kidney failure at age 90 – Dr. Keerti V. Shah. Dr. Shah, a native of India, received his MBBS degree in 1951 at the B.J. Medical College in Poona, followed by an MPH (1957) and DrPH (1963) at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health (now the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) where he was a faculty member until his death. read entire text

Written by Patti E. Gravitt, PhD, MS on behalf of his many colleagues, collaborators and friends, including Nubia Munoz, MD; Silvia de Sanjose, MD, PhD; Maura Gillison, MD, PhD; Neerja Bhatla, MD; and Alvaro Munoz, PhD.

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Elmar Joura
15/12/2019 21:33
Vulvar disease
Keertie worked closely with my mentor Ron Jones on VIN and HPV related vulvar cancers. I met Keertie in Auckland, he was a brilliant but humble person. This was crucial for my own work on vulvar disease. RIP Keertie
Date: 15/12/2019 21:33
Created by: Elmar Joura
Anna Moscicki
03/12/2019 20:33
I needed to continue in academics
I remember being a young unseasoned junior investigator attending one of my very first IPV meetings, Keerti came up to my poster and started asking so many questions and showed (or appeared to show) a keen interest in my research. His taking time to talk to me made me feel excited and confident about my research. After that first meeting, he continued to always engage me at meetings which gave me the confidence I needed to continue in academics. He will be missed.
Date: 03/12/2019 20:33
Created by: Anna Moscicki
Eduardo L Franco, James McGill
02/12/2019 10:49
I am here to make sure the speakers will respect the time given to them
Ever the practical, no nonsense scientist, Keerti was not one to grandstand in front of a microphone on stage. His signature opening when chairing a session at a conference was something like "As Chair, I am here to make sure the speakers will respect the time given to them; I will not allow them to speak too much and I am not here to comment on their papers." His wisdom was snappy but profound. He did not have time for people who liked to pontificate.
Date: 02/12/2019 10:49
Created by: Eduardo L Franco, James McGill
Xavier Bosch
02/12/2019 10:48
This is a causal association beyond any reasonable doubt
On discussions about “HPV and cervical cancer etiology” in the early 90’s, the epidemiologists and lab scientists were very cautious in claiming causality, let alone “HPV as a necessary cause”. At the exhausting end of a long session in Brussels, Keerti looked at the party and pronounced the sentence “this is a causal association beyond any reasonable doubt” and the match ball felt in the right side of the net.
Date: 02/12/2019 10:48
Created by: Xavier Bosch
Alvaro Muñoz
02/12/2019 10:47
I am not sure God exits
There was one anecdote we probably are not able to add: When meeting with three students of very different religious (Judaism, muslim and bahai) he commented: “I am not sure God exits but if it does, could you three from different angles recommend me?”. If his conditional holds, he is now safe!
Date: 02/12/2019 10:47
Created by: Alvaro Muñoz