Remembering Carlos E Baena-Cagnani, WAO Past President (2003-2005)


Carlos E Baena-Cagnani's Obituary was written by Eduardo Jares, MD

To read his obituary, click here


Prof Carlos E. Baena Cagnani passed away.

His unique personality made him a leader in our scientific community. His friendly and vibrant personality made him the most acknowledged allergist worldwide. Carlos was very popular in the Allergy and Respiratory field; everywhere we have been together he always found someone who knew him. His passionate approach to allergy made him a promoter and a mentor to young allergists. His generous personality was always in favor of collegiality and cooperation!!!

His charismatic determination and perseverance made him a great President of the Argentinean Association of Allergy & Immunology, Latin American Society of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, World Allergy Organization, and INTERASMA, till the last day of his life. Yes!! On New Year's Eve he passed away 30 minutes before his mandate as INTERASMA President was over.

We will not share anymore our discussions about science, projects, family life, feelings, sports, music, literature, arts, gastronomy … surrounded by his “joie de vivre”. It was the same “joie de vivre”, the same enthusiasm he put in all his initiatives: humanitarian, scientific, educational, societal.

The entire allergy and WAO community will miss him, and I will miss him more.

Ciao Carlos!

G. Walter Canonica, MD
Past President (2008 - 2010), World Allergy Organization

I am so terribly shocked and saddened by this unexpected news of the passing of Carlos. I considered him an excellent friend with a great, warm outgoing personality. He made a great impact globally by the force of his personality and was known, loved and respected all over the world. As President, he truly lifted the status of WAO at a critical juncture in its history. Carlos was devoted to his family, his children and especially his grandchildren.

Carlos’s main contributions were in the area of “practical epidemiology” looking at the worldwide distribution of allergic disease especially pediatric in various networks, consortia and organizations. Carlos was always quick to accept new and cutting-edge thinking on allergic disease, and he was effective at communicating his ideas. Carlos along with his warm personality was not an “easy guy”. He fought hard for his ideas and often thought strategically in these matters. There was no greater supporter and voice for Latin American allergy.

Carlos was a great friend to me and everyone in WAO and his magnetic warm personality was at the core of his high standing around the world. Evident by the outpouring of testimonials and remembrances on email and facebook. It is a tremendous loss that will be felt always.

Lanny J. Rosenwasser, M.D.
President, World Allergy Organization

I feel a deep sadness.

Carlos has been a great friend with whom I had the pleasure of sharing work, passions, science, joys and sorrows, family, similarities and differences...

After nearly 30 years, almost all of my life in the specialty, we shared meetings, calls almost daily, scientific exchange, congresses from small scientific symposia until the unforgettable World Allergy Congress 2009 in Buenos Aires, the World Congress of Asthma in Mexico DF, and several congresses of the Latin American and Argentinean Association of Allergy and Immunology. He boosted my work in the area of medical informatics in Argentina and Latin America and introduced me to the world of WAO and Interasma. I shared with him positions on the executive committees of the Argentinean Association of Allergy & Immunology, Latin American Society of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Interasma, and WAO. I deeply admired his excellent scientific conditions, unsuspected memory, his capacity for work, and his general culture from painting, literature, rugby (his passion), and football. In each subject he was an open encyclopedia. Argentina, Latin America and the world have lost a figure of singular importance and significance in our specialty. To paraphrase one of our mutual friends, Jorge Lavrut: "Carlos E. Baena-Cagnani, RIP: You were ahead and your passing away was not scheduled. Always the first, you rest one day 1st. Wait for us. We give you a brotherly and eternal hug!"

We will miss you... See you soon!

Juan Carlos Ivancevich, MD
WAO Website Editor-in-Chief (2010 – Present), World Allergy Organization

Carlos Baena-Cagnani and I met at the time of the WAO Presidency of Prof. Albert Oehling at which time we were working together to organize the WAO Congress in Cancun. It is where I first observed his energy, intellect, and passion for allergy and clinical immunology. A program was complete in short order, in large part because of his effort, and we worked closely together within the WAO for at least a decade thereafter, and then met at conferences world-wide once we were no longer members of the Board of Directors. Carlos was unique; that is, his style, approach, and charisma were one of a kind. He befriended people all over the world, participated in Allergy and Respiratory/Asthma meetings throughout each year, and may have set a lifetime record for airline-miles traversed. His main area of interest was the epidemiology of asthma and atopy as they develop from infancy onward, and he lectured on this topic on a regular basis. We will miss his smile, his over-the-top bear-hug greeting, his excitement to see our specialty progress, and his particular pride in seeing Allergy and Immunology evolve in Central and South America where his leadership skills were ever present.

Allen Kaplan, MD
Past President (2000 - 2003), World Allergy Organization

I write this in remembrance of Prof. Carlos Baena Cagnani, a friend to me and many around the world, and a Past President of WAO (2003-2005), amongst other leadership roles. Carlos was a well known allergist, active in various initiatives, representing Latin Anerica but also mentoring and promoting the younger generation to become leaders, good clinicians and scientists. Carlos was truly a people’s person and had a global perspective reaching out to people in many areas of the world especially in places with limited resources helping and teaching them.

My first meeting with Carlos was in December 1999, in Geneva at the WHO where several of us met together for almost a week to develop the ARIA guidelines led by Prof. Bousquet and Prof. Cauwenberge. Since then he visited Japan in 2000, invited by Prof. Iikura and then again in 2001 for the 4th ISBAAR. I was impressed by his vibrant nature, the ease with which he could make friends, his generosity and his openess. I also learned at that time that Carlos had a keen interest in music, fine arts and culture. Subsequently, I had the opportunity of working with him on different platforms and especially in WAO.

Carlos will be remembered not only for his academic contributions and his leadership roles in the field of allergy and immunology but most importantly for his humaneness toward the global community he created around him with his warm and friendly personality. All our WAO Past Presidents have not only contributed to WAO and the speciality during their leadership roles but still continue to do so with grace and generosity. In Milan, at the EAACI-WAO Congress we thought it most appropriate to recognize all our WAO Past Presidents with a "Special Recognition Award" (Photo). Carlos was so happy to receive this recognition and I find solace in having done that.

Carlos, you will stay alive in the hearts of all those you loved and cared for transcending time and space.

Prof. Ruby Pawankar, MD, PhD
Immediate Past President, World Allergy Organization

With immense sadness we have received this bad news on Carlos' passing. Carlos was a true leader not only for Latin America but also in the whole world. I personally always admired his enthusiasm and emotion in every task he was involved. He was particularly fond of being such a good friend of Venezuela and was highly appreciated by Venezuelan physicians. We all will miss his friendship and wise advice. Carlos, we will be always your friends. Rest in peace.

Mario Sánchez-Borges
President Elect, World Allergy Organization