On May 2, 2022, the international rabies community lost one of its pioneers in the field of rabies research when Prof. Dr. Bernhard Franz Dietzschold died in the age of 81.
Dr. Bernhard Franz Dietzschold born on October 13, 1940 in Frankenheim, Germany left home in 1958 to pursue his veterinary degree in West Germany at the University of Giessen. Having completed his DVM he went on to further pursue a degree in microbiology and virology at the University of Tubingen. In 1980, he brought his family to the Unites States to pursue his research in pathogenesis of rabies and immune mechanisms involved in virus clearance at The Wistar Institute in Philadelphia. Twelve years later, he moved his research to The University of Thomas Jefferson to further develop novel vaccines and immune therapeutics for rabies and other virus infections of the central nervous system. His work encompassed both fundamental research in pathogenesis and immunogenicity as well as application science to develop vaccines for the prevention of rabies. Countless patents of novel (rabies) vaccines, over 200 publications in academic journals, grant reviews with the NIH, and work as a panel expert for the WHO and CDC advising on zoonosis events, are only to mention a few of Dr Dietzschold’s accomplishments.