We remember Dr. Peter M. Biggs and Dr. Egon Vielitz

We remember Dr. Peter M. Biggs and Dr. Egon Vielitz

The American Association of Avian Pathologists regrets to inform members of the passing of Dr. Peter M. Biggs and Dr. Egon Vielitz. We send our condolences to their families and colleagues.

Sadly, Dr. Egon Vielitz died on December 29, 2021 at the age of 89.  He was the principal veterinarian for the Lohmann Company, a major poultry breeder and vaccine manufacturer located in Cuxhaven, Germany, from 1959 to 1999.  He was involved in nearly every important poultry disease problem in Europe (and the world) at various stages of his illustrious career but was especially proud of his work on chicken anemia virus leading to the first vaccine.  Dr. Vielitz collaborated widely, conducted and published groundbreaking research, and was a prominent contributor to international poultry medicine for many decades.  Fortunately, his amazing story of survival during the Hitler years and strong professional career is preserved for the ages in the AAAP biographical archives.  Funeral details are not yet available. View Autobiography

Dr. Peter M. Biggs passed away at the age of 95 on Monday, December 27, after a brief illness. His was certainly one of the most recognizable names in the field of avian medicine., having a long history of “firsts” in his chosen field of virus-induced avian tumors. Beginning in 1959, he conducted research at England’s Houghton Poultry Research Station (HPRS), where he later became the Director, and where he carried out definitive studies on both lymphoid leucosis (LL) and Marek’s disease (MD), The latter was named by him in honor of Josef Marek, who first described the disease in 1907. Work at the HPRS, by Peter and his colleagues, defined the difference between LL and MD, identified the etiology of the latter as a herpesvirus (simultaneously with workers at the USDA laboratory in Michigan) and developed the first vaccine for protection against MD. He helped in the birth and success of the World Veterinary Pathology Association and its journal, Avian Pathology, and he became President of the former and Editor of the latter. He will be sadly missed, and forever respected for his monumental contributions to his chosen field. View Autobiography

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