Colonel Peter J. Weina, PhD, MD, FACP, FIDSA
Individual Letterman Award Winner, 2014
Colonel Weina is the Chief of the Department of Research Programs overseeing the nation’s lead Department of Defense teaching hospital research program at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He is responsible for all graduate medical education research and the oversight of more than 1200 active clinical human use protocols at any given time across a variety of medical specialties. He also maintains the oversight for the scientific, administrative, and ethical review of all the active research at Walter Reed. He is the Scientific Lead for the Intravenous Artensunate Integrated Integrated Product Team and Director of the Leishmania Diagnostics Laboratory.
Malaria has been a disease that remains endemic in the very regions of Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East where our fighting troops have been deployed. He was the driving force behind making the new malaria medication, Intravenous Artensunate, available throughout the U.S. and Canada for the treatment of severe malaria. Eventually this drug will replace even quinine worldwide and today IV Artesunate has saved the lives of countless people around the world. This is the result of over 40 years of hard work and devotion, involving generations of malaria researchers and dedicated people from all over the world working together to improve the overall health of humanity.
Colonel Weina also is the director of the Leishmania Diagnostics Laboratory. Leishmania is one of the most neglected tropical diseases. It can take many forms, from simply cosmetic to fatal. The most common of leishmanial is the cutaneous form which usually causes disfiguring sores that affect the ability of our service members to complete their missions and result in permanent scarring. For people in other parts of the world, this disfigurement can lead to banishment from their society. The systematic diagnosis, treatment, and management of this disease has been a major focus of Colonel Weina’s life work.
Colonel Weina has been a Commander in a combat theatre of operations, Deputy Commander at Walter Reed Institute of Research, a Department Chief in the Division of Experimental Therapeutics, the Director of Virus Diseases Division, Director of Tropical Medicine Course, Director of Complex Wound and Limb Salvage Center and Director of the Combat Wound Initiative.
Colonel Weina’s efforts in the field of malaria prevention and treatment were recognized by the Center of Disease Control’s “Silo-Busters Collaborative Award of Excellence” in 2008. Other notable awards include a Meritorious Service Medal, the Expert Field Medical Badge, the Order of Military Medical Merit, the Bronze Star for service in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the Soldier’s Medal for Heroism. These attest to his outstanding devotion to duty, love of both country and fellow soldiers, and to humanity as a whole.
Do you know someone who carries on Letterman’s legacy today.
Nominate them for the Major Jonathan Letterman Medical Excellence Award.