David Alleva Plays The Long Game In Labs And The Open Water

David Alleva Plays The Long Game In Labs And The Open Water

Dr. David Alleva Plays Long Game In Labs And The Open Water

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Dr. David Alleva lives a life of scientific discovery and development of immunology- and inflammation-based therapeutics including those for autoimmune diseases with emphasis on Type 1 Diabetes in Beverly, Massachusetts.

As the Executive Director of Immunotherapeutics for Akston Biosciences Corporation, he is experienced and comfortable in talking with scientists, academics and biotech company executives in his field of insulin engineering, biologic therapeutics, and oncology.

But very few in his corporate and scientific world can probably appreciate all that Dr. Alleva did in waterways around the world. He was inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in its Class of 1992 as an Honor Swimmer, a well-deserved honor.

Dr. Alleva’s six-year professional marathon swimming career started in 1988 with a third place at the 42 km (26-mile) Traversée Internationale du Lac Memphremagog in Quebec, Canada. One year later, he won the 1989 World Championship Ocean Marathon Swim in Atlantic City, New Jersey (23 miles in 8 hours 5 minutes) and was the 1990 Long Distance Swimming World Champion after winning the Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli marathon swim in Italy (36 km in 6 hours 57 minutes over Diego Degano, shown above).

Dr. Alleva consistently placed in the top three throughout his professional marathon career in races in rivers in Argentina, lakes in Canada and the Mediterranean Sea. His podium finishes included second place in the 1991 and 1993 Traversée Internationale du Lac St-Jean (40 km in 10 hour 19 minutes and 10 hours 28 minutes respectively) and third place in the 1990 Maratón Acuática Internacional Santa Fe – Coronda (57 km in 7 hours 9 minutes).

Not surprisingly given his intellectual approach to racing and hard work as a distance swimmer, Dr. Alleva has also published research papers in immunology journals over his lengthy professional career.

My distance swim coach at Indiana University [where he majored in biology], James Kegley, convinced that it would be worthwhile, as he had been swimming these marathons for a few years prior to my start.” It was quite a flotilla of marathon swimmers at Indiana where he trained under fellow International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inductees Coach James “Doc” Counsilman and James Kegley between 1982 and 1986.

He balanced being on top of his game in the professional marathon swimming world for as long as he could as he entered the scientific world, but the demands become too overwhelming. “My career as a scientist was too demanding with Ph.D. graduate school at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, postdoc fellowship, and then onto drug development in biotech sector.”

Whether he plays the long game in marathon swimming or scientific research and discovery, Dr. Alleva has come out on top.

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Steven Munatones