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Honoring Fred Clark, D.V.M, Ph.D., Vaccine Researcher

The Wistar community has lost a respected colleague in H Fred Clark, D.V.M, Ph.D., who died this past weekend after a long illness. Fred was one of a mighty triumvirate of researchers, including Stanley Plotkin, M.D., and Paul Offit, M.D., who are chiefly responsible for the rotavirus vaccine Rotateq, which has made a tremendous difference in the health of children here in the US and around the world. 

[In the image: Paul Offit (L) and Fred Clark (R).]

The vaccine, which protects against the highly contagious virus was approved and became part of the recommended vaccine schedule for U.S. babies in 2006. It is used in 16 countries and is approved in 30 more. The vaccine was co-developed at Wistar and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in the 1980s: Fred Clark, D.V.M., Ph.D., (who was, until his death, a Wistar adjunct professor and research professor of pediatrics at CHOP); Paul A. Offit, M.D., an adjunct professor at Wistar and chief of infectious diseases at CHOP; and Stanley A. Plotkin, M.D., now a Wistar professor emeritus.

Those who knew him will remember Fred for his keen sense of ethics and his intellectual vigor. He was a man who knew he was working toward an urgent, greater good and he performed his work accordingly. Wistar President and CEO Russel Kaufman, M.D., recalls, "Of course, whenever I hear stories about Fred, what becomes apparent time and again is his sense of humor. He had a quiet wit that he could unleash with devastating impact when the need arose." He will be missed.

See his full obituary in the Philadelphia Inquirer.