News - April 16, 2009


Wageningen Professor of Virology Rob Goldbach died on April 7 after being trampled by an elephant when bird watching with a group of tourists in Kaziranga national park in northern India.

Goldbach was Professor of virology since 1986. He proved that plant and animal viruses were related. Recently his group showed how plants and animals defend themselves against viruses in the same way, namely by deactivating the invader’s RNA.

Goldbach also noticed that viral diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease are more and more common in intensive animal farming. He was one of the first to suggest that the weakened immune system of farm animals was responsible for this.
Goldbach was sixty years old.