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Bill Jarrett

Born 1928.
Died 27 August 2011.

An acclaimed veterinary scientist who discovered the viral cause of feline leukaemia and who was one of the team who created the first commercial vaccine for a parasitic disease in cattle.

Connection to the University of Glasgow: Alumnus, Honorary Graduate, Professor
GU Degrees: DVMS, 2002; PhD, 1955;

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The following achievements are associated with Bill Jarrett:

Advancing the treatment of leukaemia in the animal and human populations
The retrovirus now known as feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) was discovered by William Jarrett and his colleagues in the Department of Veterinary Pathology in 1963. This in itself has all but eradicated the disease in pet cats. It has also led to developments in the treatment of human cancers.

Inventing the world’s first commercial vaccine for a parasitic disease of cattle (Dictol)
In the late 1950s, a multidisciplinary group of scientists at the Glasgow Veterinary School developed the world's first successful vaccine for a parasitic disease affecting cattle.


The following honours are associated with this person:


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William Fleming Hoggan (known as Bill) Jarrett (1928- ) was appointed titular Professor of Veterinary Medicine in 1964 and was Professor of Veterinary Pathology from 1968 until 1990. In 2002 he was awarded the honorary degree of DVMS.

Jarrett studied at the Glasgow Veterinary College, qualifying MRCVS with honours in 1949 and at the University, graduating PhD in 1955. He was a research student for three years before his appointment as a lecturer at the Department of Veterinary Pathology in 1952. He was Head of Hospital Pathology at the department from 1953 until 1961 and then a Reader in Pathology from 1962 to 1965, went on secondment for a year to the University of East Africa and then returned to Glasgow as titular Professor of Experimental Veterinary Medicine. His research interests lay in the fields of tumours viruses, leukemia and immunology and in 1964 his identification of the feline leukaemia virus laid the groundwork for the discovery of the human leukemia virus and the HIV virus.

In 1989, Jarrett was awarded the Scottish Science Award for his research in the fields of cancer and aids. He died on 27 August 2011.