My name is Ed Gershburg. I am a colleague and friend of Dr. Halford. As you may know, Bill had been diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer approximately 6 years ago. He fought valiantly, but it is with sadness that I report that he passed away last week.
Bill will be remembered for his devotion to teaching and passion for research. It is rare for a scientist to reach the pinnacle where Dr. Halford’s herpes vaccine research stands today. Discovery research is often about placing individual pieces onto a sometimes very big puzzle. Few get to see the completed puzzle, but all are compelled by the conviction that adding their pieces will one day benefit society. Dr. Halford certainly embodied this philosophy. Years of experimental studies in test tubes and animal models ultimately led to the first human trial, and we are hopeful one day the vaccine will become a standard of care. Millions stand to benefit because of Bill’s passion, innovative thinking, and sheer determination.
Bill was a true colleague, a spirited teacher, and a brilliant researcher. We knew this day was coming, but that has not made this any easier. We do take some solace that our friend is now at peace.