It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the sudden demise of Dr Vu Thi Que Huong, a senior virologist and former Head of the department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Institut Pasteur in Ho Chi Minh City.
Huong, trained as pediatrician, specialized in the field of dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis and Chikungunya since the late 1980s in the department of Professor Do Quang Ha. She trained in molecular diagnostics and epidemiology at the Institut Pasteur in Paris where she stayed in the Arbovirus and Haemorrhagic Fever Unit and then in the Biology of Emerging Viruses Unit of the Institut Pasteur (located in Lyon), directed by Dr. Vincent Deubel, before passing her doctoral thesis in Sciences.
The National Arbovirus Center she headed in Ho Chi Minh City was internationally recognized and Huong collaborated on many projects of the Institut Pasteur International Network as well as with American and Australian researchers in particular.
Always eager to learn and exchange her knowledge with colleagues, Huong was one of the students of the first HKU-Pasteur Virology Course in 2004 and came back to Hong Kong in 2011 as lecturer and trainer to organize a practicum on arbovirus diagnostics in the same course series.
With her passion for teaching, Huong was instrumental in setting up the International Teaching and Training Center at her institute, where she served as the Director for several years, and surrounded herself with a group of young, motivated and talented researchers and staff. It was with this team that it was possible to set up an annual program of international workshops on epidemiology and public health that quickly became a reference in the region for their quality and interactive atmosphere.
Huong participated in the first clinical trials of Sanofi Pasteur's dengue vaccine and also held teaching positions as Professor in the Department of Public Health and Associate Professor in Medicine at the Medical University in Ho Chi Minh City.
An intelligent, talented, persevering, interactive, generous, joyful researcher, Huong was admired and appreciated by all her colleagues and friends for whom she spared neither her time nor her strength. She was untimely stopped in her passion for science and medicine and left us with a deep grief for losing a friend and a researcher who will have marked her time.
She will be sorely missed by friends and colleagues but we will always keep our memory of her contagious smile. The whole community of the Institut Pasteur International Network wishes to address its sincere condolences to her family and colleagues at the Institut Pasteur in Ho Chi Minh City.