FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4)– In less than one week, two faculty members from Colorado State University in Fort Collins obtained places in prestigious academic organizations.

Dr. Edward Hoover is the sixth professor at CSU to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Diana Wall was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, only the second CSU professor to do so.

Hoover has already earned a place as a CSU Distinguished Professor for his work as a veterinarian and infectious-disease authority who developed the first successful and most-widely used vaccine against feline leukemia.

FeLV vaccine is used to immunize cats worldwide against leukemia-causing retrovirus, it’s the only vaccine for leukemia in any species.

Hoover’s love of cats and their health began at an early age when he lived in Chicago above a veterinary clinic that treated a lot of cats. He started to wonder why cats get sick, how feline diseases work and what can be done to keep them healthy.

That helped him develop his vaccine which helped him earn a place in the National Academy of Sciences.

“It’s exciting, gratifying and very humbling,” Hoover said. “I hope I will be able to inspire others to work in science, to learn who we are, how we work, how animals and humans relate to each other, and how we can better take care of each other and the planet.”

Hoover is CSU’s ninth faculty member to be elected to the National Academies, including six in the National Academy of Sciences and three in the National Academy of Engineering.

“Colorado State University is enormously proud of Dr. Hoover’s induction into the National Academy of Sciences,” CSU President Tony Frank said. “His pioneering work on the feline leukemia virus and chronic wasting disease has transformed our understanding of how disease spreads among populations – and how we can slow that spread in the interest of public and animal health.

“At CSU and across the country, he’s had a profound impact as a scholar, innovator and educator, and this is an outstanding acknowledgment of an outstanding career,” Frank said.

Hoover is currently working on infectious disease with a focus on prions. Prion diseases include chronic wasting disease in deer, bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease, scrapie which affect sheep and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the fatal prion disorder seen in humans.

In the CSU Prion Research Center, Hoover is developing a method to rapidly detect prion infection in live animals which Hoover hopes will detect human neurological disease.

CSU is home to nine National Academy of Science members; Barry Beaty, professor of microbiology, immunology, and pathology; Marshall Fixman, professor emeritus of chemistry; Albert Meyers, professor of chemistry (deceased); George Seidel Jr., professor emeritus of biomedical sciences; and A.R. “Ravi” Ravishankara, professor of chemistry and atmospheric science; join Hoover in the National Academy of Science.

Bruce Ellingwood, professor of engineering; Larry Roesner, professor emeritus of civil and environmental engineering; and Thomas Vonder Haar, professor of atmospheric science; are members of the National Academy of Engineering.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Members serve pro bono as “advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine.” The organization also provides science, technology and health policy advice to the federal government.

Diana Wall (credit: CSU)

Diana Wall (credit: CSU)

Wall’s election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is just the latest recognition for her research in sustainability and climate change. Other achievements include winning the Tyler Prize, being named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and induction into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame.

“Diana Wall is one of the world’s most respected environmental scientists and one of the most influential scholars on the subject of global climate change,” Frank said. “Her induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is a fitting tribute to the extraordinary importance and impact of her work – and all of us at CSU join in congratulating her on this outstanding achievement.”

Wall’s research in Antarctica on soil biodiversity and its role in climate change has drawn worldwide praise. She is a professor of biology at CSU and director of the School of Global Environmental Sustainability.


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