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Op-Ed: Letter of unqualified support for Dr. Jose G. Montoya

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We, undersigned hereby former trainees and close colleagues in the United States, Latin America, and Europe, and members of the Colombian Association of Infectious Diseases, want to express the highest level of support for Dr. Jose G. Montoya, whom we have known in his role of mentor, research collaborator, and personal friend.

We have been blessed to know Professor Montoya for 29 years, since his appointment in the faculty of the Division of Infectious Diseases, at Stanford University. In this capacity, we have closely worked alongside Dr. Montoya in clinical, research, and academic roles. Dr. Montoya is a role model for all of us in several aspects of our lives: as a master clinician in infectious diseases, as a renowned clinical investigator, and as a mentor. Above all, we recognize Dr. Montoya as a peerless clinician. His humility, deep understanding of medicine and the human condition, and his ability to empathize with patients when they are at their most vulnerable, are second to none.

Remarkably, Dr. Montoya’s expertise in toxoplasmosis has been crafted for several decades within his role of Medical Director of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Toxoplasma Serology Laboratory (PAMF-TSL), positioning him as a worldwide expert in the field of human toxoplasmosis. He has led several research projects aimed to mitigate the impact of this neglected disease in the US and the developing world. We have admired Dr. Montoya’s generosity and ceaseless pursuit of excellence in every aspect of his life.

As trainees and close colleagues, we are exceedingly familiar with his professional behavior and can say, without a doubt, that we have only observed and experienced Dr. Montoya uphold the highest standards known to our shared profession. Several of us here signing this letter, are women who work in several roles within academic medicine. We have never observed or experienced any lapse in his professional judgment. We have only known his warmth, kindness, and humble intelligence. We are extremely proud to have been mentored either or worked alongside Dr. Montoya and his guidance has been instrumental in helping us navigate the strains of academic medicine.

It is by emulating him that we have achieved professional success ourselves. We have seen Dr. Montoya’s devotion to patient care, dedication to research, and generosity as a teacher. Dr. Montoya’s contributions to the study of Infectious Diseases, Toxoplasmosis, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are unparalleled. The field of Infectious Diseases and academic medicine will suffer a great loss without Dr. Montoya’s continued contributions and his teaching print.

Please accept our unconditional support for Dr. Montoya based on our direct professional and personal relationship with him during which time we have never witnessed a breach in his conduct. It is our expectation that a thorough and detailed investigation will enable justice and truth to be reached.

Sincerely,

Christelle Pomares, MD, PhD

Carlos A. Gomez, MD

Daniel Ajzenberg

Pierre Marty

Despina Contopoulos-Ioannidis, MD

Andrés F. Henao-Martínez, MD

Kiran Gajurel, MD

Reshika Dhakal, MD, MPH

Jorge Alberto Cortes, MD

Ernesto Martínez Buitrago, MD

Carlos Arturo Alvarez-Moreno. MD MSc PHD FIDSA

Prof. François Peyron

Sandra L. Valderrama, MD

Federico Perez, MD, MS

Sonia Isabel Cuervo Maldonado, MD, MSc

Pr Marie-Laure Dardé

Pablo Andrés Moncada, MD

Pr Isabelle Villena

Florence Robert-Gangneux

Luis Gabriel Uribe, MD, FACP

Dr. Liliana Arias-Castillo, MD

Robert W. Shafer, MD

Pr Martine Wallon, MD, MPH, PhD

Daniel Shin, MD

Sebastian Ochoa, MD

Peter M. Small, MD

Fernando Rosso, MD, MSc.

Prof. Valeria Meroni

Carlos Humberto Saavedra Trujillo, MD

Luis Guillermo Uribe R., MD

Carlos Bernal-Mizrachi, MD

Jorge Enrique Gomez Marin, MD, PhD

Jon E. Lutz, MD, FACP

Michael B. Fowler, MB, FRCP

Wes (Janice) Brown, MD

Pío López, MD

To contact any of the individuals listed above, please click here for a complete list of contact information.

To view an additional letter from Liliana Arias-Castillo, academic vice president at the Universidad del Valle, please click here.

Signatory Christelle Pomares has requested to include the following text in the body of this letter: “I’m Christelle Pomares, Associate Professor in France working in a teaching hospital in Nice France. I spent two years as visiting scholar at Stanford University and Palo Alto Medical Foundation-Toxoplasma Serology Laboratory (PAMF-TSL), working with Pr. Montoya. In no situation have I ever felt any sexual misconduct, assault, or harassment. Jose is an extremely great professor and researcher. He has been my mentor and friend since my stay in his team. I’ve been truly appreciate working at his side and in any situation never felt any trouble as a woman working with him. I give him my full truly support.

Sincerely,

Dr. Christelle Pomares, MD, PhD

You can call me at : +33607169564 if needed”