seal2002 Honorary Degree

Maurice Pensaert

Doctor of Science

Maurice Pensaert has received recognition for distinguished contributions and promotions of veterinary research worldwide.

Maurice Pensaert

This resident of Berlare, Belgium, is a professor of veterinary medicine at Ghent University in his native country of Belgium.

Born in Overmere, Belgium, Dr. Pensaert attended Ghent University and earned his doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1963. He came to West Lafayette, Ind., in the mid-1960s and earned a master of science degree and a doctor of philosophy degree from Purdue University in 1966 and 1968, respectively.

Dr. Pensaert has been a member of the faculty of veterinary medicine at Ghent University for 34 years, currently as a professor in veterinary virology and viral diseases of animals.

In 1970, he founded and has since directed the Laboratory of Virology, which now comprises two professors, three post-doctoral researchers, 10 doctoral students and 10 technical personnel. The lab currently has four significant research projects.

As part of the faculty at Ghent University, which has 24,000 students, including more than 1,200 enrolled in veterinary medicine, Dr. Pensaert has served as dean of the veterinary medicine faculty for three years and department head for virology, parasitology and immunolgy for 10 years.

Dr. Pensaert is vice president of the Research Council of Ghent and president of the research committee for the faculty of veterinary medicine. He is considered an expert in evaluating research proposals for the European Union.

Among his past research achievements, Dr. Pensaert is credited with being the first worldwide to isolate and identify the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus and the first worldwide to isolate and identify porcine respiratory coronavirus. He also was the first researcher in Europe to isolate and identify an avian influenza virus in swine.

He is author or co-author of 115 refereed international scientific publications, manuals and books, and is past president of the International Pig Veterinary Society, past president of the Board of Flemish Veterinarians and Belgian representative in the European Pharmocopoeia, serving on the Vaccines Committee.

Dr. Pensaert has been honored previously by the British Veterinary Association and the Veterinary Medical Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Penn State University in America, University of Zurich in Switzerland and the University of Liege in Belgium.