Skip to: [ search ] [ menus ] [ content ] Select style [ Aqua ] [ Citrus ] [ Fire ] [ Orange ] [ show/hide more content ]

Veterans Affairs researcher in SF dead from bacterial infection

Dead, 17 hours after his blood stream was infected…

Some days, I have conflicts about the subject of my daily blog. A few days ago, I suggested (“tongue-in-cheek”) that a 17-year-old who rappelled into a luxury car dealership, stole a Lamborghini, and was ultimately arrested in the investigation of a shooting incident in Marin County, might make good Silicon Valley CEO material. Today, we learn that Yahoo’s CEO, Scott Thompson does NOT have a bachelors degree in computer science, as Yahoo misrepresented last week in a regulatory filing. On the other hand, the artist in me wants to talk about the auction of Edvard Munch’s “THE SCREAM” yesterday for $119.9 million.

But when I want to rank events by importance, I remember the way that one of my friends and former directors, a three-tour-of-Vietnam Green Beret, used to dismiss UNIMPORTANT matters by saying, “Nobody has DIED here.”

Well, somebody has died here. And my M.S. in Bacteriology has won the debate….

Richard Din, 25, of San Francisco was a young research associate at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Din died over the weekend after he became infected with a bacterium with which he had been working. Din lived on Treasure Island. He died Saturday 17 hours after he came down with a blood stream infection by the bacterium, Neisseria meningitidis, a species that can cause blood infections and meningitis. says:

For the past six month, he had been working for the Northern California Institute for Research and Education, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing veterans’ health research based at the San Francisco VA hospital. He had been handling the bacterium for several weeks before his death.

Despite the unlikely chance that Din could have contracted the illness from another source, the cause of his death remains under investigation. Officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the bacterium is linked in the United States to the deaths of about 75 people a year, but is a comparatively common cause of infection and death in sub-Saharan Africa.

The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death and has up to six months to do so. Din’s coworkers, who have been treated preventatively with antibiotics, have described Din as “fastidious,” a good adjective for a medical microbiologist.

A “town hall” meeting was held Monday at the VA medical center to inform employees about what happened and to offer grief-counseling services, said Dr. Harry Lampiris, chief of infectious disease at the hospital. Lampiris said Din’s parents, who are not from this area, attended the meeting.

We extend our sympathies to the friends and family of Richard Din, and we remind the public of the limits of human science and medicine in a very dangerous world.

-Bill at

Cheshire Cat Photo™ – “Your Guide to California’s Wonderland™”

You can view higher-resolution photos at the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Pro Gallery on Shutterfly™, where you can also order prints and gifts decorated with the photos of your choice from the gallery. The Cheshire Cat Photo Store on Zazzle® contains a wide variety of apparel and gifts decorated with our images of California. All locations are accessible from here. LIKE Cheshire Cat Photo on Facebook here! If you don’t see what you want or would be on our email list for updates, send us an email at

No Comments to “Veterans Affairs researcher in SF dead from bacterial infection”

  (RSS feed for these comments)

InspectorWordpress has prevented 52153 attacks.
Get Adobe Flash player