This special issue of the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (JPGN) “Celiac Disease: Past, Present, and Future Challenges,” is dedicated to the memory of David Branski, my friend and colleague, as European editor-in-chief of JPGN. I do so with strong emotions, fond memories, and a deep sense of privilege for having known and worked with David.
David died on August 1, 2013, after a hard-fought battle with cancer. He leaves a lasting legacy with his publications and professional contributions to education, research, and the welfare of children throughout the world. For those unfamiliar with his career, David was an eminent pediatrician, an internationally recognized leader in pediatric gastroenterology, and an active participant in professional organizations dedicated to children's health in his native country, Israel, and globally. As the co-editor of JPGN, he served at the forefront of international efforts to inform and educate pediatric gastroenterologists and other caregivers about the latest scientific advances in pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition. He was active in the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) since 1985, serving as member of the Council, chair of the Committee on Gastroenterology and editor-in-chief of JPGN. David's lifetime achievements and contributions to ESPGHAN were recognized with the Distinguished Service Award in May 2013 (1).
David retired as Chair of Pediatrics at Hadassah University Hospitals in 2010, but continued to participate in organizing EAP/ UNEPSA, ESPGHAN and GPEC conferences, produced a Master course in pediatrics, continued to see patients, consult with fellow doctors on their patients, edit articles, and edit a series of books to the very end. Above all, David dedicated his final years to JPGN. David will always be remembered by those who knew him for his “can do” spirit and positive outlook.
The contributions in this volume attest to David's deep and abiding influence on pediatric gastroenterology and his dedication to improving the lives of children everywhere.
1. Troncone R, Shamir R. Presentation of the 2013 ESPGHAN Distinguished Service Award to Professor David Branski. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr