Alek Koutinas was appointed member of honour of LeishVet association

During the 18th LeishVet meeting held on August 16-18 2015 in Liverpool in the scope of the 25th International Conference of the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology (WAAVP), prof. Alek Koutinas was appointed member of honour of LeishVet association.

In the presence of prof. Koutinas, Gad Baneth, vice-president of LeishVet, read a praise speech dedicated to the unique personality and scientific work of Alek Koutinas including his important contributions to LeishVet. As LeishVet president and on behalf of the group, Guadalupe Miró awarded prof. Koutinas a silver plaque containing a mention to his new status of LeishVet member of honour.

Alek Koutinas thanked LeishVet members with a warm speech.

Dear Alek, dear LeishVet members,

It is time to say farewell and thank you to a precious person who has been active in our association since its foundation, and who has contributed significantly to LeishVet’s scientific and intellectual development.

Alek is a great expert on leishmaniosis, and has left his mark on the study of this disease in dogs and cats by conducting and publishing important studies relating to its clinical manifestations, pathogenesis, epidemiology, treatment and prevention. Of course, his studies of leishmaniosis are only a part of Alek’s contributions to the study of small animal internal medicine, dermatology, microbiology, and parasitology, which are well recognized internationally and in his home country of Greece.

Alek has not only indulged in research and clinical practice at the University of Thessaloniki, he has also trained generations of younger veterinarians and specialists in veterinary dermatology and internal medicine. He organized national and international congresses and held major positions in associations whose goal is to further the education and knowledge of veterinary medicine and its different specialties.

Alek has an encyclopedic memory, is very knowledgeable, curious, and is interested in a very broad range of subjects outside veterinary medicine. He always amazed me with his questions on every aspect of life. He is an expert in history, zoology and politics, and is always curious to know what other people think and what people of different backgrounds think about current topics. Alek is by nature a perfectionist who strived without compromise to arrive at the highest level of achievement possible.

LeishVet discussions and meetings without Alek would not be the same as with him. Alek is a fluent speaker and does not let go before he presents his point of view on a topic and tries to persuade others, in the great spirit of the Greek orators and philosophers. To his credit, I must say that despite his admirable stubbornness, he was also open to hearing other points of view and being persuaded by other members. Alek had a major input into everything that LeishVet has done, the scientific discussions, the resulting opinion papers and guideline publications, and the organizations of meetings. He has argued his concepts and influenced the members direction of thought, and at the same time was also influenced and eventually often agreed with opinions and data presented by others. Alek took upon himself to organize two of our meetings, one in Athens and another in Thessaloniki, and did a superb job in organizing these meetings from both the scientific and social points of view. I remember a lovely dinner in a restaurant on the top on a mountain overlooking Athens at night during our Athens meeting, and another unforgettable dinner in a Thessaloniki night club just last year, with Alek dancing traditional dances and mastering the ancient art of Greek dances. These are memories that I take with me for life, and I am sure that the other members also cherish.

We thank you Alek for your enthusiasm, professionalism, friendliness, and never-ending desire to contribute and help. LeishVet will always be indebted to your valued contributions, and will keep in touch with you in the future. Please remember that you are a member of honour of LeishVet for life, and have a place of high dignity in the hearts and souls of all members forever.

Liverpool, 16/08/2015