ASVCP Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients, J. Robert Duncan and Keith W. Prasse - December, 2010

Drs. Duncan and Prasse met as graduate students at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in the late 1960s where they both completed their PhD degrees in veterinary pathology and were certified as anatomic pathologists by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP). Their major professor was the late Dr. Frank K. Ramsey. Despite their intense interest in the "new" field of veterinary clinical pathology, this specialty area was not recognized by the ACVP until the early 1970s. By that time, Drs. Duncan and Prasse (Fig. 1) were employed at The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine where they specifically taught and practiced veterinary clinical pathology.

Dr. J. Robert DuncanDr. Keith W. Prasse Fig. 1.  Drs. J. Robert Duncan (left) and Keith W. Prasse (right) in their early career as clinical pathologists at The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine (c. 1972).

 

 

 

 

 

The specialty of clinical pathology was instituted by the ACVP in 1972.  Dr. Duncan served as a proctor for the first board certification examination.  In 1973, both Drs. Duncan and Prasse took and successfully passed the certification examination to become diplomates in veterinary clinical pathology. 

The textbook Veterinary Laboratory Medicine actually has its origins in the early 1970s when Drs. Duncan and Prasse taught a class in clinical pathology to sophomore veterinary students at The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. In its earliest form, this textbook began as lectures, intermittent printed notes, and ultimately a loosely bound series of course notes.  Formal lectures were replaced by discussions of case laboratory data, and the students referred to the notes as their "text." Subsequently, the first edition of the hardbound textbook was published by Iowa State University Press in 1977.  With the publication of the fourth edition of this textbook comes a slight change in title to Duncan & Prasse's Veterinary Laboratory Medicine: Clinical Pathology to honor the contributions of Dr. J. Robert Duncan and Dr. Keith W. Prasse to the field of veterinary clinical pathology.

During their careers, Drs. Duncan and Prasse have taught many students, residents, colleagues, and practicing veterinarians the intricacies of veterinary clinical pathology.  In addition, Dr. Duncan served as President of the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology in (1980-1981) and Dr. Prasse served as President of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (1985-1986).  Although Dr. Duncan retired as an Emeritus Professor in 1996, he has continued to contribute to the veterinary clinical pathology text (Fig. 2).  Dr. Prasse served six years as the Associate Dean for Public Service and Outreach in the University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine. Then in 1996, he was chosen to lead the College as the Dean in which he served for eight years (Fig. 2). Dr. Prasse retired from UGA in 2005, but continued to work on the text book and with AAVMC to lead a long term vision and planning effort for the organization.

Dr. J. Robert DuncanDr. Keith W. PrasseFig. 2. Dr. J. Robert Duncan at the close of his tenure as Head, Department of Veterinary Pathology left, 1996) and Dr. Keith W. Prasse as the Dean of The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine (right, 2002).

Contributed by Kenneth S. Latimer, DVM, PhD, Athens, GA