PULLMAN, Wash. — John Gorham, longtime professor of veterinary microbiology and pathology in Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, has received the Gold Head Cane Award.

The award from the Hartz Mountain Corp. recognizes Gorham’s landmark contributions to the epidemiology of certain animal diseases, some of which also affect humans.

During more than 50 years at WSU, Gorham has become an international authority on slow-virus disease research in animals. He is perhaps best known for his 1953 codiscovery of the microorganism responsible for salmon poisoning in dogs and foxes.

In recent years, Gorham’s research group has pursued three basic disease areas — developing a diagnostic test for scrapie in sheep, investigating the molecular biology, immunology and epidemiology of hemoparasitic diseases, and studying bovine herpesviruses.

Gorham holds two degrees from WSU, including a doctor of veterinary medicine in 1946. In 1993, he received the Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award, the highest honor the university bestows on a graduate.

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