News & Events

Calvin W. Schwabe, 1927-2006

July 6, 2006

Calvin W. Schwabe, professor emeritus, died June 24 at age 79 from complications of post-polio syndrome.

Considered the founder of veterinary epidemiology, Schwabe was a global authority on animal diseases that can be transmitted to humans and was an advocate for the concept of "one medicine," which seeks to integrate the fields of human and veterinary medicine.

He wrote several veterinary books, as well as "Unmentionable Cuisine," which was something of a cookbook of foods, ranging from bugs to cows eyes and turkey testicles, that are staples in some cultures but abhorrent to people of other cultures.

He earned his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Auburn University in 1954, and went on to earn a master's degree in public health and a doctorate in science from Harvard University in 1955 and 1956, respectively.

He taught public health at American University in Lebanon, while studying parasitic diseases, and founded a department of tropical health and a department of epidemiology and biostatistics there.

He became an expert on hydatid disease, a potentially fatal parasitic infection that is transmitted by tapeworm larvae. In the early 1960s, he consulted with and directed parasitic-disease programs for the World Health Organization.

He joined the faculty in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1966, establishing the first epidemiology department and graduate program in the world to be housed within a school of veterinary medicine. He served as a professor of epidemiology in UC Davis' veterinary and medical schools until his retirement in 1991.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Gwendolyn Schwabe; two children; and four grandchildren.

A memorial service in Davis is being planned.

Lynn Narlesky, Office of the Dean