Ken Strauss (born 1953) is a physician/author who is known both for his writings as well as for his work promoting the careers and works of other artistically-inclined professionals. He is the owner of a manor on the French-Belgian border, le Château du Jardin. Health-care professionals from various places in the world come to le Château du Jardin as artists-in-residence. During their residency they work individually in their chosen field as well as interact with fellow artists. Named Le Jardin des Arts, this not-for-profit project is endorsed by the European Medical Association and the European Union. Attendance is open to nurses as well as doctors, non-Europeans as well as EU citizens. Conditions for entry include recognized artistic achievement in writing, music, painting, sculpture or cinema as evidenced by publication, exposition or public performances, etc.; a willingness to participate in peer-review of others' work; and a commitment of two hours a day working on practical tasks in or around the Château.
Early life, education and professional career
Born in New Orleans, Strauss was raised by missionary parents on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. He studied at Columbia Bible College (1971–75) and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (1975–78) with a focus on the biblical languages of Greek and Hebrew. After this he embarked on medical studies. Strauss received his degree as a doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, South Carolina, USA (1982–86). He did an Internal Medicine Internship and Residency at the Wake Forest University, North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA (1986–89). His Endocrinology Fellowship was at the Harvard Medical School, Boston in the Beth Israel Hospital, Brigham & Women's Hospitals and Joslin Diabetes Center (1989–91).
He has lived most of his life in Latin America and Europe and speaks Spanish and French in addition to his native English. He is currently an internist and endocrinologist who holds two director-level posts in Europe: European Medical Director for BD, a global medical company; and Director of Safety in Medicine for the European Medical Association, based in Brussels.
Strauss speaks frequently to audiences throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia on topics related to diabetes, HIV disease and patient safety. As Medical Director he performs research trials at university hospitals throughout Europe. In addition he develops disease management and educational tools for use in the clinical setting by doctors, nurses and patients. He publishes in peer-reviewed medical journals and does volunteer work in clinics in Africa and South America.
Strauss's first novel, entitled La Tendresse, was published in 2002 by Black Ace Books of Forfar, Scotland. Despite its French title the book is written in English. It is an epistolary novel set in the First World War which juxtaposes the friendships and love affairs of its protagonist, Dr. Alain Hamilton, with the brutality of trench warfare.
Besides these novels, Strauss has published a series of children's tales, poems and short stories which are available on his web site as well as a series of essays and two plays (Ship of Folly, Anne and Rachid Rachid), posted on his blog.
Strauss's scientific interests are widespread.
His interest in immunology has led to publications in HIV disease, cellular activation and natural killer cell function, tumor immunology, HLA-B27-related rheumatologic conditions and screening, transplant cross-matching and graph rejection, pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis, leukemia diagnosis and minimal residual disease, platelet activation in vascular disease and stem cell transplantation in cancer patients.
As an endocrinologist he has an obvious interest in diabetes. Publications cover the subjects of diabetes management and education, efficacy of insulin injecting devices, safe injection technique, intensive glucose management, GP office management of diabetes and the epidemiology of diabetes in developing regions of Africa and Eastern Europe.
Additionally, Strauss has published on peripheral and central line catheters, anesthesia and surgical devices, safety injection devices, sharps disposal units, spinal and epidural catheters and vaccination devices.
Le Château du Jardin
The retreat for health artists, Le Jardin des Arts, is located in le Château du Jardin, a property listed as an architectural heritage site in Belgium. The official site for Patrimoine Architectural Belge  describes it as follows:.
Tongre-Notre-Dame is best known for its basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary, but it also has some unexpected treasures, such as the Château du Jardin. Built in the mid-19th century, this mansion stands in the middle of extensive formally laid out grounds. Today, the Château du Jardin is the property of an endocrinologist, Ken Strauss. He undertook the restoration of the residence with a view to holding medical seminars there. The Château du Jardin is a neo-classical, rectangular building. The frontage and rear external wall are two stories high, faced with finishing plaster and surmounted by a Mansard roof bordered with a wooden cornice. The façades have large rectangular window openings.
Notes and references
- About us - European Medical Association
- See author's comments on his web site: http://www.kenswritings.com/
- BD: Medical Supplies, Devices and Technology; Laboratory Products; Antibodies
- Black Ace Books
- Ken Strauss's website
- Tourism Wallonia - Ardennes (Belgium) : GARDENCASTLE AT TONGRE-NOTRE-DAME
- K. Strauss. Endocrine complications of the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. Archives of Internal Medicine, 1991; 151:1441–1444.
- A. Levin, G. Brubaker, J. Shao, D. Kumby, T. O'Brien, J. Goedert, K. Strauss, W. Blattner, I. Hannet. Determination of T-lymphocyte subsets on site in rural Tanzania: results in HIV-1 infected and non-infected individuals. International Journal of STD & AIDS, 1996:288-291.
- F. Bouscarat, M. Levacher, M Dazza, K. Strauss, P. Girard, C. Ruggeri, M. Sinet. Correlation of CD8 lymphocyte activation with cellular viremia and plasma HIV RNA levels in asymptomatic patients infected by human immunodeficiency virus type 1. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, 1996; 12:17-24.
- F. Hulstaert, K. Strauss, M. Levacher, G. Vanham, L. Kestens, B. Bach. The staging and prognostic value of subset markers on CD8 cells in HIV disease. In Janossy G, Autran B. Miedema F (eds): Immunodefiency in HIV Infection and AIDS, Karger Publishers, Basel, 1992:185-194.
- D. Bainbridge, M. Lowdell, I. Hannet, K. Strauss, A. Karpas. Can repeated plasma donation by asymptomatic HIV-infected individuals delay the onset of AIDS? Phil. Trans. R. Soc. London. B, 1997; 352:763-770.
- A. Lopez, I. Caragol, J. Candeias, N. Villamor, P. Echaniz, F. Ortuno, A. Sempere, K. Strauss, A. Orfao. Enumeration of CD4+ T-cells in the peripheral blood of HIV-infected patients: interlaboratory study of the FACSCount system. Cytometry. 1999 October 15;38(5):231-7.
- V. Chernyshov, E. Vykhovanets, I. Slukvin, Y. Antipkin, A. Vasyuk, K. Strauss, Analysis of blood lymphocyte subsets in children living on territory that received high amounts of fallout from Chernobyl accident. Clinical Immunology and Immunopathology, 1997:122-128.
- F. Hulstaert, I. Hannet, V. Deneys, V. Munhyeshuli, T. Reichert, M. DeBruyer, K. Strauss. Age-related changes in Human blood lymphocyte subpopulations. Clinical Immunology and Immunopathology, 1994; 70:152-158.
- K. Strauss, I. Hannet, S. Engels, A. Shiba, D. Ward, S. Ullery, M. Jinguji, J. Valinsky, D. Barnett, A. Orfao, L. Kestens. Performance Evaluation of the FACSCount system: a dedicated system for clinical cellular analysis. Cytometry, 1996; 26:52-59.
- B. Bertino, W. Knape, M. Pytlinska, K. Strauss, J-C. Hammou. A comparative study of DNA content as measured by flow cytometry and image analysis in 1864 specimens. Analytical Cellular Pathology, 1994; 6:377-394.
- K. Strauss, F. Hulstaert, V. Deneys, A. Mazzon, I. Hannet, M. DeBruyere, T. Reichert, C. Sindic. The immune profile of multiple sclerosis: T-lymphocyte effects predominate over all other factors in cyclophosphamide-treated patients. Journal of Neuroimmunology 1995; 63:133-142.
- R. Vesely, J. Barths, F. Vanlangendonck, I. Hannet, K. Strauss. Initial results of Central European Immunophenogyping Quality Control Program (CEQUAL). Cytometry 26:108-112.
- F. Hulstaert, J. Albrecht, I. Hannet, P. Lancaster, L. Buchner, J. Kunz, A. Falkenrodt, M. Tongio, F. DeKeyser, E. Veys, L. Noens, N. Mir, C. Costello, R. Becker, K. Strauss. An optimized method for routine HLA-B27 screening using flow cytometry. Cytometry, 1994; 18:21-29.
- K. Strauss, Insulin injection techniques: Report from the 1st International Insulin Injection Technique Workshop, Strasbourg, France—June 1997, Practical Diabetes International, September 1998:15; 16-20.
- K. Strauss, I. Hannet, J. McGonigle, JL. Parkes, B. Ginsberg, R. Jamal, A. Frid, Ultra-short (5mm) insulin needles: trial results and clinical recommendations. Practical Diabetes International, October 1999: 16; 22-25.
- J. Wilczynski, K. Cypryk, K. Strauss, R. Mazze. The role of Staged Diabetes Management in improving diabetes care in Poland. Practical Diabetes Management, August 1999; 16:137-141.
- K. Strauss. Ultra short (5mm) insulin needles: how do they affect injection technique? ISPAD, April 1999, 127-132.
- Look D., Strauss K. Nadeln mehrfach verwenden? Diabetes Journal 1998, 10: S. 31-34.
- K. Strauss, Pautas de insulinoterapia y técnicas de inyección, Anales de Medicina Interna, May 1998:292-293.
- K. Strauss, Strumenti per la somministrazione dell-insulina e tecniche corrette per la sua iniezione. Il Diabete, September 1997; 9:157-167.
- K. Strauss. Bezpieczenstwo I wygoda wstrzykiwania insuliny. Diabetologia Polska, 1995; 2:305-308.
- K. Strauss, B. Ginsberg. Managing type II diabetes. European Union of General Practitioners Reference Book 1996/97.
- K. Strauss, H. De Gols, I. Hannet, T. M. Partanen, A. Frid. A pan-European epidemiologic study of insulin injection technique in patients with diabetes. 'Pract Diab Int; April 2002, Vol 19:71-76.
- K. Strauss, R Onia, A. van Zundert. Peripheral Intravenous Catheter Use in Europe: Towards the use of safety devices. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand 2008; In press.
- A. M. Rivera, K. Strauss, A. Van Zundert, E. Mortier. The history of peripheral intravenous catheters: How plastic tubes revolutionized medicine. Acta Anaesthesiol Belg 2005; 56:271-282.
- M. Rivera, K. Strauss, A. Van Zundert, E. Mortier. Matching the peripheral intravenous catheter to the individual patient. Acta Anaesthesiol Belg 2006; 58:19-25.
- K. Strauss, A. van Zundert, A. Frid, V. Costigliola. Pandemic influenza preparedness : the critical role of the syringe.. Vaccine. 2006 May 29;24(22):4874-82. Epub 2006 March 20.
- K. Strauss. 'Safety in Family Medicine', The European Textbook of Family Medicine, eds. M Bisconcin, G. Maso, N. Mathers. 2006: Passoni Editore, pp. 687–696.