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La Familia Gilman (continued)

Why Wait? Apply Now!

Willy Lescano, PhD ’08, MHS ’02

I basically consider Bob to be a second father. I have worked with him for more than two decades. He has guided and assisted my personal and professional growth since I entered the health field.

When I was in engineering school, I did a small mathematical modeling project on malaria transmission. Hugo [Garcia] found out about this—he’s my first cousin. He’d been working with Bob for a few years, and he wanted me to show my project to him. When I did, Bob was very enthusiastic, and I went on to work with him on various projects. Eventually his wife hired me to do data analysis work for her NGO. The best part was being around to continue to work with Bob and his students.

Eight years later, I was looking for the next step. I knew that Bob had helped several of the young people he worked with go to Hopkins to get their PhDs, including Hugo, but I thought it was something I might be ready for in five years or so. Bob said, “Why don’t you apply now?”

I went to Hopkins, and it changed my life. A year after I returned to Peru, an opportunity at the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 6 in Peru opened up. Now I’m head of the Department of Parasitology here, and I also run the Public Health Training Program that, among other activities, has a master’s in epidemiology [program] as a joint project between Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia and the U.S. Navy.

I’ve learned so much from Bob, and it would be presumptuous to say I’ve taught him much. But from me, I’m sure he’s learned that people can be very stubborn. He thought starting this master’s program was a very ambitious task—not that we couldn’t do it but that we might be aiming too high. But we stuck to it, and it’s really paid off. We’ve trained over 100 junior scientists to do research in our own country. They’re Peruvians committed to solving Peruvian public health problems.

Whenever I introduce myself, I say I’m a “Gilmanite,” one of the children of Gilman, and now the students I work with are the third generation in this family.

Comments

This forum is closed
  • Rony Colanzi

    Santa Cruz-Bolivia 05/28/2012 09:05:05 PM

    Since I have known Dr Gilman, I think more of humans. He is an example of generosity and love for others. In Bolivia, we carry forward the implementation of laboratory research on tuberculosis and Chagas. Thank you very much for a life devoted to science, with such dedication.

  • Rafael Coria

    Mexico City 05/29/2012 10:17:25 PM

    Ha sido un gran honor conocer al Dr. Robert Guilman, su buen humor, sus criticas inteligentes y su humanismo son ejemplo para quienes anhelan hacer investigacion en beneficio de nuestros semejantes. From Mexico City to Peru.

  • Vita Cama

    Atlanta, GA. USA 06/14/2012 09:58:48 AM

    I am perhaps one of the elder member of the Gilman family, preceeding the times of training funds. We have worked continuously since he became my mentor in 1988. Bob's always evolving science skills and his human values have made a strong impact in my life. I am very grateful that Emico asked me to bring a pig in my car to Cayetano!

  • Brian W. Simpson

    Editor, Johns Hopkins Public Health 06/14/2012 11:13:13 AM

    That sounds like a great story, Vita. Please tell us more.

  • alberto saavedra

    america continente 07/01/2012 09:36:08 AM

    "Todo arte o palabra viene del pueblo y va hacia el" el conocimiento y las palabras del pueblo han brindado a Bob las guias de su invalorable sabiduria dejando sus huellas y su nombre hacia las futuras generaciones que lo seguiran con orgullo y felicidad muchas gracias "maestro" por sus esfuerzos y profunda perseverancia los multiples destinos lo recordaran con mucho carino

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