Karel Antoni (Ton) Schat

  • Born: 1944 (The Netherlands)
  • Inducted: 2013
Born in The Hague, The Netherlands, Ton Schat received his veterinary degree from the University of Utrecht in 1970. Before graduation he spent 5 months at the Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria. After graduation he joined the International Technical Assistance Program of the Dutch State Department to work on Marek’s disease at the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Pecuarias in Mexico, where he worked until 1975. To prepare for this position he received training in the basics of Marek’s disease research from Dr. Rispens at the Dutch Central Veterinary Institute. In 1975 Ton joined the research group of Dr. Calnek at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. After receiving his PhD degree in 1978 he joined the faculty at the College of Veterinary Medicine of Cornell University. He retired in 2011 as a Professor in Avian Virology and Immunology.

He is well known for isolating the SB-1 vaccine strain of Marek’s disease and his research on the pathogenesis and immunology of Marek’s disease. In addition he has published important contributions on chicken anemia virus, rotaviruses and more recently on Mycoplasma gallisepticum infections in house finches. His achievements would not have been possible without excellent PhD students and post-doctoral associates.

Ton has published over 165 papers in peer-reviewed journals and more than 30 book chapters. He also served as co-editor of the first and second editions of Avian Immunology. His contributions to avian disease research were recognized with the Upjohn Achievement Award of the AAAP in 1986, the Dr. Bart Rispens Research Award of the WVPA in 1987, the Pfizer Award for Excellence in Poultry Research of the AVMA in 1999, and the Merck Award for Achievement in Poultry Science of the PSA in 2005. In 2010 he was recognized by his peers with a special award for outstanding research in the field of Marek’s disease.

Ton enjoys international travel, which he often combines with bird watching and bird photography. In addition he loves to cross-country ski and bicycle. He lives with his wife Laura Stenzler in Ithaca and has two daughters, Marianne and Marjolein, and two granddaughters.

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