In memoriam: Professor Sohei Makino, a founding member of GINA

GINA is sad to report the passing of Sohei Makino, Emeritus Professor at Dokkyo Medical University in Japan. Professor Makino passed away on August 4, 2020 at the age of 89 years.

Professor Makino had an outstanding career, conducting research and providing important contributions in the fields of asthma pathophysiology. By focusing on eosinophils, he was one of the pioneers of the concept that asthma is an inflammatory disease of the airways. Thanks to Professor Makino, groups dealing with eosinophils developed “The Workshop on Eosinophils in Allergy and Related Diseases” in Japan, which has been held annually since 1988. As a member of GARD (Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases), Professor Makino was always active on projects to support developing countries. For example, he collected epidemiological data on COPD in Mongolia, the Philippines, Cambodia and Laos, performing spirometry, providing training in interpretation of the results and implementing smoking cessation, as well as learning the real world context in these regions.

Professor Makino was a panel member of the Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention NHLBI/WHO workshop that produced the first GINA report in 1995, and he was also involved in the GINA 2002 report as an Executive Committee member. Based on the experience of GINA, he began producing Japanese Guidelines for Asthma (JGL) when he was the chairman for the 5th spring annual meeting of the Japanese Society of Allergology in 1993. He held the position of Chairman for the JGL Executive Committee until 2004, and developed the Japanese guidelines together with GINA. He produced a Japanese version of GINA as well as English versions of JGL, which made possible a global discussion about asthma and its management based on mutual understanding. Through this work, he contributed substantially to implementation of asthma management strategy and guidelines that was reflected in a decrease in deaths from asthma in Japan and other countries.

We express our deepest sympathy to his family, as well as to his colleagues, friends and the Japanese allergy and respiratory community.

Helen Reddel, MBBS PhD, Chair, GINA Science Committee
Louis-Philippe Boulet, MD, Chair, GINA Board of Directors

We thank Professor Ken Ohta (former member of GINA Science Committee and Board) and Professor Hiro Inoue (current member of GINA Science Committee and Board) for their help in preparing this tribute.