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In Memoriam: Teruo Kitagawa, MD, (1926-2017)


   On December 18, 2017, Teruo Kitagawa, Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics and Child Health at Nihon University School of Medicine, passed away at the age of 91. Prof. Kitagawa become a member of ISPAD (then the International Study Group of Diabetes in Children and Adolescents: ISGD) in 1979 . In recognition of his tremendous contributions to the field of pediatric diabetes , he was elected President of the ISGD from 1987 to 1990, and, in 2007, received the ISPAD Prize for Achievement. In 1994, he organized and hosted the annual meeting of the ISPAD in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture in Japan. This followed his 1983,   International Symposium on Childhood Diabetes in Tokyo, which was the first ever international conference on pediatric diabetes to be held in Japan,
   Prof. Kitagawa specialized in a broad range of clinical fields, including inborn errors of metabolism, kidney diseases, and diabetes, and served as either the president of relevant academic societies, or as a chairperson of their advisory committees, including the Pediatric Diabetes Committee of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). He established a school urinalysis screening program that led to the detection of numerous children with asymptomatic type 2 diabetes, the incidence of which had been considered to be low . He was renowned for describing a form of slowly progressive type 1 diabetes with an indolent clinical course. He was also an active investigator in a number of Japanese and International Epidemiology studies.
   In 1951 Prof. Kitagawa joined the Department of Pediatrics at the Jikei University School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor and in 1971 was appointed Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Nihon University School of Medicine where he served as the Head of the Department from 1986 until his retirement in 1992. After his retirement, he served as Professor and Vice President at Kokusai Gakuin Saitama College until 1998, and from 1997 to 2015 was President of the Tokyo Health Service Association.  Prof. Kitagawa was the inaugural Chairman of the Japan Diabetes Society’s Pediatric Diabetes Committee in 1982 and focused on deepening collaboration between the pediatric and internal medicine sectors. He received the Medal with Purple Ribbon in 1992, and was decorated with the Third Class Order of the Sacred Treasure in 1997 in Japan
Despite his extensive achievements both inside and outside of Japan, Prof. Kitagawa was always extremely polite and thoughtful in dealing with his young patients, his students and colleagues.  His teachings and friendship continue to live in our hearts, even today.

Tatsuhiko Urakami, MD
Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Nihon University School of Medicine

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