Dr. Sally Gatchalian 1952-2020

In Memoriam




A well-loved and accomplished pediatric infectious disease specialist, researcher scientist, leader, wife and mother.

“Sally” or “Dr Sally”, as everyone calls her, was destined to be an achiever. She was the Valedictorian of her elementary class at St William’s School in Zambales and graduated top 3 in her class at St. Bridget’s School in Quezon City for her secondary education. She pursued her dream of becoming a doctor when she enrolled and finished Medicine at the University of the Philippines Manila- College of Medicine (UPCM). She then went on to continue her Pediatric Residency training with the UP-Philippine General Hospital and her infectious disease fellowship at the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM). Her further training included a Clinical Preceptorship in Clinical Microbiology under S. W. B. Newsome, Consultant Microbiologist at Papworth Hospital Cambridge, England, a fellowship training in Pediatric Intensive Care – Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia followed by a Research Fellowship in Neonatal Infections particularly CMV at Kobe University, Kobe, Japan.

Sally held several positions as a professor, researcher and pediatrician having been an Associate Professor 4 and a former head of the division of Pediatric Infectious and Tropical Diseases (INTROP) of the UPCM. She was an active pediatric consultant in various hospitals and institutions namely the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine, Manila Doctors Hospital, Medical City General Hospital and St. Luke’s Medical Center Global City.

She was an inspiring and highly admired leader of various medical societies; becoming the president of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines (PIDSP), International Society of Tropical Pediatrics- Philippine chapter, the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID) and at the time of her death from COVID-19 on March 26, 2020 was the current president of the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS). She was also deputy director and co-founder of the PFV.

In the international scene, she had worked with distinguished pediatricians and health professionals among Asian medical societies in her various capacities to organize and bring scientific and academic education on child health. These include working and organizing meetings with the Asia-Pacific Advisory Committee on Influenza in Asia, International Society of Tropical Pediatrics, World Society of Pediatric Infectious Disease and Immunization Partners in Asia Pacific.

Her research activities have produced numerous published papers in the field of pediatric infectious diseases particularly in vaccine-preventable diseases which she also pursued during her ten-year stint as a Research Medical Officer with Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK).

Throughout her professional career, she was a much-sought after lecturer and speaker both in the national and international arena. Her expertise in Pediatric infectious disease topics particularly in vaccinology has benefited hundreds and thousands of students, health care workers, and even policy makers. In many health issues, she would always be prepared to address challenges in supporting child survival and saving lives through appropriate therapies and preventive measures.

Undoubtedly, her charming ways, ready smile, humility, intelligence, kindness and generosity plus her sensitive, romantic and humorous nature have all earned for her the love trust and respect of everyone in the professional and social fields.

Sally is survived by her equally accomplished husband urologist, Dr Eduardo Gatchalian, the love of her life and by their achiever son Geoffrey with his wife Laiza and her lovely duty-bound daughter Gayle married to Shawn. She has been the guiding star and inspiration for her family being a great mother and wife of all time as well as a great leader to her many friends and associates.


How Vaccines Cause Adverse Events

PIDSP Philippines Lecture

Imminent Infectious Diseases Threatening Asian Children

PIDSP Philippines Lecture