Environmental Factor, October 2010, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
NIEHS remembers Jenny Pronczuk de Garbino
By Eddy Ball
Friends and colleagues at NIEHS were saddened Sept. 20 by news of the death of global and children's health champion Jenny Pronczuk de Garbino, M.D., at age 63. Pronczuk de Garbino was a medical officer in the World Health Organization (WHO) Department of Public Health and Environment and, for a number of years, the co-principal investigator of a cooperative agreement between NIEHS and WHO. She collaborated with scientists at NIEHS on several initiatives to improve children's health and build effective partnerships worldwide.
One of Pronczuk de Garbino's closest friends at NIEHS was Bill Suk, Ph.D., director of the Center for Risk and Integrated Sciences. “Jenny was such a positive force for children's environmental health globally, a good friend and colleague not just to me but to so many people, and just about the nicest person I have ever known,” he wrote after learning of Pronczuk de Garbino's death.
Pronczuk de Garbino was a clinical toxicologist and occupational health physician, originally from Montevideo, Uruguay, where she was appointed head professor of clinical toxicology and director of the National Poisons Centre. She trained at the Université de Paris, Lariboisière-St Louis in Paris and, through a Fulbright Scholarship, at Baylor College of Medicine.
Pronczuk de Garbino joined WHO in 1991 to work in the promotion of chemical safety (IPCS) and initiate work on the response to epidemics of toxic origin. Most recently, she worked on environmental threats and vulnerable population groups, specifically on the promotion of longitudinal cohort children's studies, international collaborative research, training of health care providers, and technical advice to governments worldwide.
In 2008, Pronczuk de Garbino was recognized by the US Environmental Protection Agency as the International Children's Environmental Health Champion. She will be remembered during the Council of Fellows at Ramazzini Days 2010.
In a message to friends and colleagues, WHO associate Marie-Noel Bruné said that condolences may be sent to a special email account, firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com) , or to the family in Switzerland: Family Garbino - Pronczuk, Chemin de Ruisseau 4, 1297 Founex - Switzerland. Bruné also said that, in lieu of flowers or gifts, the family would appreciate donations to a children's' environmental health initiative in Uruguay, Jenny's beloved home country.