In memoriam Paul Pierre Pastoret

Published on
April 23, 2015

On April 19th 2015 Paul-Pierre Pastoret, passed away at the age of 68. Paul Pierre was a devoted veterinary scientist with a great passion for virology. A lot of Epizone members remember him as an excellent virologist and a friendly colleague.

Paul Pierre studied Veterinary Medicine at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Liege, Belgium. He specialised in Virology/Immunology and obtained his PhD in Virology at the same Faculty. After post-doctoral studies at the University of Saskatoon in Saskatchewan, Canada he returned to Liege to become Professor of Virology, Immunology/Vaccinology and viral infectious diseases.

One of his main contributions was to the development of the recombinant Vaccinia-Rabies virus vaccine for the oral vaccination of wildlife against rabies. His group was the first to deliberately release this vaccine in the environment; this vaccine largely contributed to the elimination of terrestrial rabies in several Western European countries and is also largely used in the United States. He also contributed to research on infectious bovine rhinotracheitis herpesvirus infections and other bovine herpesvirus infections, bovine infections with pestivirus and rotavirus and bovine spongiform encephalitis.

For six years, Prof. Pastoret was a member of the Scientific Council of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI, a CGIAR Institute), based in Nairobi, Kenya, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He was also member of the Scientific Council of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research, INRA. From 2002 to 2005, he was the Director of the Institute for Animal Health (IAH) in United Kingdom, then, in 2006, the scientific advisor for animal health and welfare for the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council in United Kingdom. He was a member of the scientific advisory board of the Jenner’s vaccine Institute (University of Oxford, United Kingdom, and the Institute for Animal Health).

From 2006 to 2010 he headed the Publications Department of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) based in Paris, France. Since 2010 he was a Scientific Advisor of this Organization. He participated in the global eradication of rinderpest which was officially declared achieved by OIE and FAO in 2011.

He was Belgian member of the European Medicines Agency in London from 1995 to 2002 and Chairman of the Immunology group of the Agency. Full member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium and Chairman in 2011. Member of the Academy of Agriculture of the former Soviet Union, the Veterinary Academy of Mexico and a foreign associate of the National Academy Medicine France since 2011. Doctor "Honoris Causa" from the University of Ankara, Turkey. Secretary General of the "Federation of European Academies of Medicine."

Paul Pierre Pastoret authored or co-authored more than 900 scientific publications and he was editor or co-editor of many textbooks, including some major works like: Veterinary Vaccinology (Elsevier), Handbook of Vertebrate Immunology (Academic Press, Elsevier); "Rinderpest and Peste des petits ruminants virus plagues of large and small ruminants" (Academic Press, Elsevier).

Our sympathy is with his family, colleagues and friends.

Wim H.M. van der Poel, Coordinator of Epizone