The tragic irony is that Professor Casadaban had been trying to develop a vaccine so that thousands of people around the world wouldn't die a painful, ugly death from a bacterial infection related to the plague. Butit was that bacterium that appears to have killed him.
"We really thought he was so strong, we didn't see this coming at all," said Leigh Casadaban, daughter.
Not only did they not see it coming, but sisters Leigh and Brooke Casadaban say their father never knew what killed him.
"It was just so much of a shock, even the time he was in the ER, from the moment he got accepted to the time he passed away. We had no idea, we didn't even get to say goodbye to him," said Brooke Casadaban.
Malcom Casadaban was a professor of molecular genetics at the University of Chicago for 30 years.
For the past eight years, his daughters say, he'd been working with a strain of bacteria called yersinia pestis, trying to develop a stronger vaccine for the plague, once the world's worst health scourge.
The weakened strain he was using, however, isn't supposed to make healthy people sick.
And that is the big mystery now for investigators with the Centers for Disease Control and the state and city public health departments who've been looking for clues at the U. of C. labs.
Rest at site...
(Wow there is a Growing List of DEAD Microbiologists)
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