International Organization For the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

The International Organization for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IOIBD) is the only international worldwide organization devoted to these chronic and sometimes disabling diseases involving different parts of the gastrointestinal tract. The mission of the IOIBD is to promote the health of people with IBD worldwide by setting the direction for patient care, education and research. This is in particular the case for those countries where the diseases are just evolving. Task forces of IOIBD promote scientific developments by designing non commercial clinical studies. Grants are provided for innovative start-up projects and large scale trials not receiving funds otherwise due to lack of economic or political interest. Travel grants are given to young scientists from countries with evolving IBD. The organization furthermore aims at developing clear definitions of the different manifestations of IBD as well as for the targets and endpoints of treatment in practice and research, in particular in clinical trials.

The long-term goal of IOIBD is to contribute to the elucidation of the cause of these still relatively new diseases and finally to the development of a causal and curative treatment, thereby making its existence unnecessary.

Mission Statement
To promote the health of people with IBD worldwide by setting the direction for patient care, education and research.

Upcoming meetings:
Thursday 21- Sunday 24 March 2019, Havana (Cuba)
Thursday 19 – Sunday 22 March 2020, Hong Kong (China)

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IN MEMORIAM – Dr. Ted Bayless (1931-2019)

Over the course of three centuries, it has become a shop-worn cliché to praise a man as    “a gentleman and a scholar”. Yet, no sobriquet is more fitting for Dr. Theodore M. (“Ted”) Bayless. His scholarship is known to the entire GI community: author of over 200 seminal papers; pioneer in studies of celiac disease with the encouragement of his Johns Hopkins mentors, Tom Hendrix and Jack Yardley; expert on tropical sprue under the auspices of Uncle Sam with the U.S. Army in Puerto Rico; world authority on lactase deficiency, much to the delight and profit of the dairy industry; and in his latest years, inspired by another Hopkins icon, Al Mendeloff, he became an indefatigable explorer of the epidemiology and genetics of IBD. Up through the final months before his death, even at age 87, Ted spent many delightful dinners with Burt Korelitz and me in New York, enthusiastically recounting his latest inquiries into these fields. We were enthralled on these occasions by his curiosity and his insights, though our wives seemed to be more interested in other topics.

Ted’s professional achievements, of course, extended far beyond the seminal research accomplishments that garnered him countless award. His retirement ceremony at Johns Hopkins in 2015 was replete with stories of his love and devotion to patients, students, and protegees alike. For all of them, Ted had a magical, almost saintly gift for compassion, empathy, and understanding. The secret to this gift, all agreed, was his innate talent for listening.

Recounting these personal attributes brings us to the “Gentleman” part of Ted’s character. In prior eras, the distinction of being a “gentleman” depended entirely on one’s ancestry. If they were aristocracy, so were you; if not, you weren’t. Well, Ted was steeped in and proud of the legacy of his forebears, but they were hardly aristocracy. His family originated in the Jewish quarters of Kiev, and his great-uncle, Mendel Beiliss was the target of the 20th century’s most sensational blood-libel trial. Accused in a Czarist court in 1913 of the ritual murder of a Gentile child, Mendel stood his ground–and against all odds, was acquitted!

Yet another role model was Ted’s uncle, a respected GP whom Ted as a child had followed on house calls. Evidently, that was not a HIPAA violation in those days! And Ted’s mother and father, an eminently successful Atlantic City pharmacist, were determined that their son become a physician. He surely did them proud!

Thoroughly a gentleman in character but not aristocratic in manner, Ted Bayless has always been described as sweet, unassuming, and modest. He was utterly devoted to his wife, Jaye, in over six decades of marriage, as they shared life’s blessings and challenges. Their blessings included their three sons–Jeff, Drew, and Neal–and their grandchildren; their joys included shared experiences at opera, theatre, and book clubs in Baltimore and New York; and their challenges included the decades of Ted’s courageous struggle with lymphoma, never yielding to the illness until it was truly good and proper time to relent.

His patients, family, friends, and colleagues will miss him dearly. The profession will be deprived of his ongoing contributions, but the world will forever be a brighter place because of the light he shone upon it.

I am indebted to Myron Lewis’s insightful biography (J Clin Gastroenterology 2014;48(8):653-654) for a number of the insights into Ted Bayless’s life and work.

David Sachar, February 2019

 

 

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