Sunday, June 26, 2016

PRO/AH/EDR> Obituary: Roger Gerrard Breeze

OBITUARY: ROGER GERRARD BREEZE
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A ProMED-mail post
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International Society for Infectious Diseases
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Date: 24 Jun 2016
From: ProMED Rapporteur Joseph Dudley <jpdudley@alaska.edu>

Dr. Roger Breeze, BVMS, Ph.D, MRCVS, a preeminent veterinary research
scientist and biosecurity expert who supported international efforts
for anticipating and responding to emerging risks and threats from
biological agents and emerging diseases, died on 14 Jun 2016 in
Washington DC.

Roger Breeze was prescient advocate for recognition of the potential
great benefits and equally significant potential security threats
presented by the emerging new fields of molecular biology and genetic
engineering. Roger was an early One Health advocate and proponent of
new PCR-based diagnostic testing technologies and a strong advocate
for the adoption of standardized PCR diagnostic testing methodologies
for humans and animals.

Dr. Breeze was a Member of the UK Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
and a member of the U.S. National Academies - Institute of Medicine's
Forum on Microbial Threats and National Academies - Committee on
Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures. For the past decade, Roger
served as an advisor on biosecurity and biological/chemical weapons
nonproliferation issues to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)
and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Roger Breeze received the Presidential Distinguished Executive Rank
Award in 1998 for his current work as Associate Administrator for
Special Research Programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) to establish and direct a new
program for counterterrorism and biological weapons defense for U.S.
agriculture and food supply chains, and previous work as Director of
the USDA - Plum Island Animal Disease Center. At Plum Island, Dr.
Breeze supervised a major renovation and modernization of the
laboratory facilities and implemented a redesign of existing biosafety
and biosecurity practices. He initiated new research programs into the
genomic basis of disease pathogenesis, genetically engineered vaccine
development, and real-time PCR diagnostic tests. Roger fostered the
establishment of a worldwide network of international cooperative
research programs whose legacy continues through to the present day.

Before joining USDA-ARS, Roger had a distinguished academic career in
the United Kingdom and the United States. Dr. Breeze received his
Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery and a PhD in Veterinary
Pathology from the University of Glasgow and was a member of the Royal
College of Veterinary Surgeons. He was engaged in teaching and
research on respiratory and cardiovascular diseases pathology at the
University of Glasgow - School of Veterinary Medicine and the
Washington State University - College of Veterinary Medicine. While at
Washington State University, Roger Breeze served as Chairman of the
Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology and Associate Dean
for Research in the College of Veterinary Medicine before moving on to
become Deputy Director of the Washington Technology Center at the
University of Washington - College of Engineering.

To his colleagues, Roger may be most remembered for his engaging and
inclusive personality, his exuberance and enthusiasm, his
collegiality, and his singular ability to make the un-seeable appear
self-evident.

--
Joe Dudley, Billy Karesh, Terry Leighton, Tracey McNamara

[Roger was always a good friend and stimulating colleague and donated
some valuable equipment to my lab in Brazil. - Mod.JW]

[Roger was a well-regarded speaker at the first IMED in 2007 and has
been a friend of ProMED through ensuing years, advocating for us
within DTRA. We are saddened to learn of his death. - Mod.LM]

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