Howard Morris, PhD, FAACB, FFSc(RCPA), president of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC), passed away suddenly on April 18, 2019. An AACC member since 2009, Dr. Morris had been elected to serve as president of the IFCC from 2018-2020, and was the first person outside of the U.S. or Europe to hold this position.
At the time of his death, Dr. Morris held a joint appointment as professor of medical science in the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences at the University of South Australia and as a clinical scientist in chemical pathology at SA Pathology in Adelaide, Australia. His research interests included the pathophysiology of metabolic bone disease and the effects of hormones, including vitamin D, and his latest work identified anabolic actions of vitamin D following metabolism within bone tissue. This provided a molecular mechanism for vitamin D requirement to reduce the risk of fractures amongst the elderly. The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research awarded Dr. Morris the Louis Avioli Memorial Lectureship for his work on this topic in 2009.
Leading up to his most recent role as IFCC president, Dr. Morris was very active in the organization and worked tirelessly on numerous IFCC committees. He served as IFCC vice president (2012-2014), secretary of the Scientific Division of the IFCC (2003-2008), chair of the IFCC-International Osteoporosis Foundation Joint Working Group on Standardization of Bone Turnover Markers (2012-2017), and as a member of the IFCC task forces on the Global Campaign on Diabetes Mellitus (2003-2008) and International Clinical Liaison (2009-2011).
Dr. Morris will be deeply missed, and will be remembered for his numerous contributions to the field of laboratory medicine and for his upstanding character in all that he did.