Dr. Gerhard A. Schad, professor of parasitology in the department of pathobiology in the School of Veterinary Medicine, passed away April 25, 2009, at age 81.
Dr. Schad was appointed to the School of Veterinary Medicine faculty in 1973 and later was promoted to professor in 1977. He was praised by graduate students for his veterinary parasitology course as being one of the best doctoral courses at Penn. Dr. Schad had also been a professor in the Graduate Group in Parasitology and of the Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Group (CAMB) in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Highly published, he had done groundbreaking research on the biology of human hookworms. His research interests included developmental biology and neurobiology of parasitic nematodes, ecology and epidemiology of parasitic helminthes of man and animal, and experimental ancylostomiasis and strongyloidiasis: laboratory models for intestinal nematode parasitism. Most recently, his research involved understanding how certain parasitic worms are able to find the people and animals they are going to infect.
Previously, Dr. Schad worked for the US Department of Agriculture in State College, New Mexico, where he studied the transmission of parasites from wild to domestic ruminants. He then changed his primary area of study from wildlife parasitology to ecological and evolutionary parasitology and went to John Hopkins University in the mid-1960s, where he ran a parasitology program in Calcutta, India until coming to Penn.
Amongst his many honors, Dr. Schad received the Clark P. Read Mentor Award from the American Society of Parasitologists of which he was president in 1990.
He had also been a member of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Schad earned a bachelorís degree in wildlife biology from Cornell University in 1950 and earned a masterís degree and doctorate in parasitology from McGill University in Montreal, in 1952 and 1955, respectively.
Dr. Schad is survived his wife, Margaret Mulqueen; son, Eric; daughter, Lisa; five stepchildren; and nine grandchildren.
Memorial donations may be made to the Nature Conservancy, 4245 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203-1606.