In memoriam: Hans Lutz

Published: 03/04/2024


It is with great sadness that the ABCD announces the passing of one of its founding members, Hans Lutz (78). Hans was a renowned emeritus Veterinary Medicine Professor at University of Zurich, where he graduated in 1971. After several years of bacteriology and mastitis research, clinical work and a postgraduate course in experimental biology and medicine, he worked for two years at the Institute of Pharmacology and Biochemistry (University of Zurich) before spending three years studying virology and immunology at the University of California Davis with Professor Niels C. Pedersen.
Upon his return to Switzerland, he became professor in clinical laboratory medicine, and was appointed director of the clinical laboratory at the Veterinary Faculty in Zurich in 1981, where he stayed until his retirement in 2011. He served as President of the Swiss National Centre for Retroviruses from 1995 until 2008. During this time, he obtained the specialist diploma for laboratory medical analysis from the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences.
His research focused on feline viral and especially retroviral infections, animal models for AIDS, feline immunology and vaccinology, tick-borne infections and clinical laboratory diagnostics in veterinary medicine. He was the author or co-author of over 350 papers in peer-reviewed journals, published several book chapters and reviews, was co-editor of the textbook “Diseases of the Cat” (together with his close friend Marian Horzinek) and was a popular guest lecturer and speaker at home and abroad. In 2001, he received the Science Award of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association and in 2022, he was admitted to the prestigious Academia Europaea.
He was not only a founding member of the ABCD, but also a member of the scientific advisory board to the Veterinary University in Vienna and a member of the German Academy of Natural Sciences Leopoldina. In his later years, he enthusiastically supported the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as their feline specialist.
But, apart from his many academic achievements and boundless scientific curiosity, Hans will be no doubt most remembered for his warm and engaging personality, his keen interest in the people and world around him, his generous support and friendship and above all his contagious laugh and wonderful anecdotes.
We will greatly miss him and our thoughts go out to Claudia, their children and grandchildren.

Diane Addie, Sándor Belák, Corine Boucraut-Baralon, Herman Egberink, Tadeusz Frymus, Katrin Hartmann, Regina Hofmann-Lehmann, Margaret J. Hosie, Albert Lloret, Fulvio Marsilio, Karin Möstl, Maria Grazia Pennisi, Séverine Tasker, Etienne Thiry and Uwe Truyen.

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