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Alfred Andreas Buck was born in Hamburg Germany. He earned his M.D. from the University of Hamburg in 1945. Buck finished his postgraduate training in internal medicine at one of Hamburg’s major general hospitals in 1952. His first position was as a government physician specialist at Central Hospital Makassar/ Celebes, Indonesia. He left Indonesia in 1955 to become the chief, department of medicine at the Red Cross Hospital in Pusan Korea. In 1958 Buck was awarded a WHO grant to study epidemiology and biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, earning a masters in public health in 1959. He continued his academic work on the epidemiology of sarcoidosis with Victor McKusick as his advisor, completing his DrPH in 1961. Buck was appointed as assistant professor of epidemiology and International Health of the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health the same year. Buck left Hopkins in 1971 to become the chief medical officer, division of parasitic diseases at WHO in Switzerland. In 1978 he joined the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as a tropical medicine advisor. During his career, Buck’s work formed the basis for global control of such diseases as onchocerciasis, filariasis, malaria, schistosomiasis and smallpox and improved field diagnostic capabilities for various parasitic diseases. Buck was the recipient of numerous awards and commendations including the Donald Mackay Medal for Outstanding Service in Tropical Medicine in 1995.

Scope and Content

The Alfred A. Buck Collection contains notes from the period in which Buck studied epidemiology and biostatistics (1958-1961) at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. The collection also features class notes and references for Epidemiology during his tenure as assistant professor including annual lab reports from various locations, including Brazil and Trinidad, as well as maps and epidemiology research focused around Africa, specifically Cameroon. Of note are various personal effects of Buck, such as books and practice books which Buck used while practicing Arabic as well as German text books. There is also a CD with autobiographical material which describes Buck’s early life and professional career (“Chances, Choices, Challenges: A Journey”).

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