Infectious Diseases
Designatory Letters: 

Ragnar Norrby received his medical degree at the University of Göteborg in Sweden where he was also awarded a PhD for a thesis on ‘Studies on the host cell penetration of Toxoplasma gondii’.

His first senior academic post was as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Infectious Diseases at ?mea University; he was also the Medical Director of ?mea University Hospital. After seven years in Lund he moved to a similar appointment in the University of Lund.

In 2001 Professor Norrby was appointed Director General of the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control in Stockholm, a government organization, where he remained until he retired in 2009. As Director General he had to deal with many difficult political situations, related for example to childhood vaccination, HIV infection and epidemic influenza, often in the glare of media attention. His calm and sensible responses to these situations were impeccable; he always led from the front.

In addition to his university and clinical positions he held important appointments in a number of institutions; these included the Presidencies of the Swedish Society of Medicine, the Swedish Society for Infectious Diseases, the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, the International Society for (Antimicrobial) Chemotherapy and the Board of Trustees of the International Vaccine Institute in Seoul, Korea.

Ragnar had many research interests ranging from studies of Lyme disease in Sweden, clinical trials, and pharmacokinetics new antimicrobial agents, and also vaccines. He was co-Editor of several monographs and was an expert on clinical trial methodology.

He combined a warm and generous personality with a determination to seek for excellence in every organization that he was associated with - not always an easy task.

Ragnar respected many British traditions and was immensely proud of his Fellowship of our College.

He is survived by his wife, Ann-Sophie, and two daughters, one of whom is Professor and Head of the Centre for Infectious Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

Alasdair Geddes