Mahabir Gupta, 1942-2020

Mahabir Prashad Gupta, born on October 3, 1942 in Gajsinghpur, India passed away on December 14th as a consequence of Covid-19. He was admitted to hospital in early November, had tested negative a week before he died and was out of the Covid ward. He then tested positive again and passed away following complications of the disease. Since 1972 he was a professor of Pharmacognosy at the University of Panama, Republic of Panama with many roles and responsibilities associated with it for nearly fifty years.

His enthusiasm of science and international collaboration, his engaging nature and his strong dedication to the study and sustainable use of Central American biodiversity has made him a true ambassador of natural product and biodiversity research. A dedicated scientist and a wonderful friend is gone, a loss to all, and one of now well over 1.6 Million reported fatalities, each and every one a loss to family and friends. Mahibir will be remembered for his cheerful and always positive, but also careful and critical approach to life, a message which at the end of 2020 is so important. His advocacy for science especially in the global South, and of international collaboration will also be a legacy

Mahibir trained in India and after a Bachelor in 1963, in 1965 he was awarded a Master of Science at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India, 1965. He then moved to, Washington State University, Pullman and in 1971 he was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy. He had numerous links and collaborations, among this many achievements he was an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the University of Munich (1971-1972), collaborated with many research groups including our own as well as groups in the USA and Switzerland, advised the Organisation of American States and the Pan American Health Organisation on herbal medicines. While not a member of the GA, nor a regular participant in the congresses,he was known to many thanks to his multiple links with researchers, for example, in Switzerland and the UK.

A citizen of the world is gone, but not forgotten.

Gracias, Mahibir por todo lo que has contribuido.

Michael Heinrich, on behalf of the GA-Board.