Robert James Eckroade
AAAP Hall of Honor

Robert James Eckroade was born at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington D.C. in 1937.  He lived all of his pre-college life in the small town of Cradock, VA.  He attended Virginia Tech  (1955 - 1958), University of Georgia (1958 - 1962) receiving a DVM, University of Wisconsin (1966 -1971) receiving a MS and PhD in Pathology and Veterinary Science.  At Wisconsin he worked with Dr. R.P. Hanson and Dr. Gabriele ZuRhein on what was then called “slow viruses” and is known as Prions.  Bob was an active member of AAAP, USAHA, AVMA and PVMA.
His professional career in Poultry Medicine began at the University of Delaware where he collaborated with Walt Staples to understand the relationship between Infectious Bursal Disease and immunosuppression in progeny from certain breeder flocks.  In 1975 Bob was offered a position as Assistant Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Avian Medicine and Pathology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.  He developed a teaching program in Poultry Medicine for veterinary students, a quality diagnostic laboratory and a residency program in Poultry Medicine.  More than 3,000 Penn graduates were exposed to a course in Poultry Medicine and an advanced elective Poultry Medicine that had 25 to 50 students per year.
Bob was awarded the Pennsylvania Veterinarian of the Year in 1989 by the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association and the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year from the University of Georgia in 2002.  One of his greatest contributions was being elected Secretary Treasurer and CEO of the AAAP for 22 years, bringing the office into the computer age.  This gave him the opportunity to represent the AAAP on many AVMA committees, including the Scientific Program Committee, Animal Welfare and the Legislative Advisory Committee.  He was also the USA representative to the World Veterinary Poultry Association.  In 1996 he received the Special Service Award from the AAAP.  Other scientific contributions include efforts to identify and control outbreaks of Avian Influenza and Salmonella enteriditis, two of the most important poultry diseases in the past three decades.  In the USAHA he served as Vice-Chair and Chair of the Transmissible Diseases of Poultry Committee.  His involvement with Salmonella enteriditis and Avian Influenza resulted invitations to travel and speak in: Albania, Australia, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, France, England, Japan, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Russia, Scotland, Turkey and Venezuela.
Bob and his wife Carlene of 60 years live on a 100 acre farm in rural Maryland.  They have three children:  Bob Jr, Bill and Sherri and five grandchildren.  The slower life style is OK.