Noted EPM Researcher Lindsay Dies at 66

David S. Lindsay, PhD, professor of parasitology at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine (VMCVM), in Blacksburg, died on Nov. 17.

Lindsay taught parasitology to graduate and undergraduate students for 24 years before retiring earlier this year. Prior to joining the Virginia Tech faculty, he was a senior research fellow at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, in Alabama.

Lindsay began his career as a parasitologist working as a laboratory technician at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine’s Diagnostic and Investigational Laboratory in Tifton, Georgia.

As Kansas State University professor Steve Upton put it while introducing Lindsay as the 2000 recipient of the the American Society of Parasitologists’ Henry Baldwin Ward Medal: “By the time David was accepted into the zoology PhD program at Auburn University in 1980, he had acquired an unusually extensive clinical knowledge of domestic and companion animal parasitology. During his years in graduate school, David was often consulted by both faculty and students alike concerning parasitological findings.”

In 1987 he became a postdoctoral research associate at the Zoonotic Diseases Laboratory at the Agricultural Research Service, which is the USDA’s research agency.

Ten years later he began working as an associate professor at the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, VMCVM. Here he collaborated with Anne Zajac, professor emerita of parasitology, on parasitic disease research.

“David was my valued colleague and collaborator for his 24 years at Virginia Tech. He was an internationally recognized expert on protozoan parasites and clinical veterinary parasitology generally, and his research on Apicomplexan protozoa has contributed significantly to our knowledge of that important group of parasites,” said Zajac. (Editor’s note: Sarcocystis neurona, which causes equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, or EPM, in horses, is an Apicomplexan parasite.)

In 2002 he obtained the rank of professor. His research focused on Apicomplexan parasites that cause coccidiosis, cryptosporidiosis, and toxoplasmosis in humans and domestic animals. He also studied zoonotic flagellates that cause leishmaniasis and Chagas’ disease.

Over his career, Lindsay authored 450 papers and 40 book chapters. He was cited more than 15,900 times and gave over 500 conference presentations. His publication record was extraordinary, and it led to worldwide recognition for his expertise.

“Despite chronic medical problems, his publication and editorial output remained prodigious, reflecting his great love of parasites and research. He established collaborative relationships with parasitologists and other scientists worldwide and was unfailingly generous to students and colleagues with his time and extensive knowledge. He will be greatly missed,” said Zajac.

Lindsay was a distinguished veterinary parasitologist of the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists and a member of the American Society of Parasitologists. He served as an associate editor for the Journal of Parasitology, the International Journal for Parasitology, and the Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology.

“His work is internationally renowned and will impact the field of parasitology for many years to come,” said Margie Lee, professor and head of the VMCVM’s Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists, the American Society of Parasitologists (must be a member to donate), or the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America.

Lindsay’s full obituary is available here.