With the recent passing of Professor William Trager, I have reflected much about his remarkable career and his significant contributions to parasitology, especially his successful cultivation of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Over the years, I have been asked many times just how we were able to succeed in culturing this major human pathogen when so many others who preceded us had failed (Trager and Jensen, 1976). Because this question was nearly always asked in a brief and casual setting, my answers were never sufficient to explain what really happened. I am writing this paper to give some historical background for our work, our thinking, and our approach. In the telling, I hope to pay tribute to this remarkable man by providing insights into his character, as well as his personality and his work as a scientist.

During the late 1960s and...

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