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Prof P.J. Du Toit

(1888 - 1967)

Prof Petrus Johannes Du Toit was die President van die Wetenskaplike en Nywerheidsnavorsingsraad (WNNR) en Dekaan van die Fakulteit Veeartsenykunde aan die Universiteit van Pretoria . Hy het deur sy hele loopbaan ’n belangrike rol in diebevordering van internasionale en veral inter-Afrika samewerkingsooreenkomste gespeel. Du Toit is in 1918 as senior navorsingsveearts by die Onderstepoort VeeartsenykundigeNavorsingsinstituut (OVNI) aangestel, en het Adjunkdirekteur in 1920 en Direkteur in 1927 geword. Hy was Direkteur tot en met sy aftrede in 1948. Hy was ‘n professor in dieDepartement Aansteeklike (later Tropiese) siektes in die Fakulteit Veeartsenykunde van 1920 tot 1948 en Dekaan van die fakulteit van 1927 tot 1948. Hy was ook Voorsitter vandie UP-senaatskomitee van 1924 tot 1926. In 1948 is hy as Adjunkpresident en van 1951 tot 1952 as President van die WNNR aangestel. Hy was die President van die Suid-Afrikaanse Veeartsenykundige Verenigingvan 1924 tot 1930, President van die Suid-Afrikaanse Biologiese Vereniging in 1927 en President van die Suider-Afrikaanse
Vereniging vir die Bevordering van Wetenskap in 1932. In 1929 was hy Voorsitter van ’n Pan-Afrika- VeeartsenykundigeKonferensie en van 1950 tot 1960 was hy President van die Wetenskaplike Raad van Afrika. Hy het ’n BA-graad (Dierkunde) in 1907 aan die Universiteit van Stellenbosch, ’n Dphil-graad (Dierkunde) in 1912 aan die Universiteit van Zürich en ’n DmedVetin 1916 aan die Universiteit van Berlyn verwerf. Sy bydrae is ook internasionaal erken deur, inter alia, erelidmaatskap van wetenskaplike verenigings in Frankryk, die Verenigde Koninkryk (VK) en België. Hy het ook ses eredoktorsgrade ontvang.Du Toit het nou met Sir Arnold Theiler saamgewerk op die etiologie van botulisme in beeste en was ’n medewerker in menige belangrike wetenskaplike uitvindings in die 1920’s, 1930’s en 1940’s. Dit sluit onder andere die ontwikkeling van entstowweteen polivalente perdesiekte en blouting, die ontdekking van Culicoides spp as draers van hierdie siektes, die ontwikkeling van entstowwe teen miltsiekte en botulisme en die ontwikkeling van ’n immuniseringsmetode teen hartwater in. Hy was outeur enmede-outeur van 132 publikasies.

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Prof Petrus Johannes Du Toit was President of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Dean of theFaculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Pretoria. Throughout his career, he played an important role in the promotion of international and especially inter-African collaborations. Prof Du Toit was appointed senior research veterinarian at theOnderstepoort Veterinary Research Institute (OVRI) in 1918 and became Deputy Director in 1920 and Director in 1927 – a position he held until his retirement in 1948. He was a professor in the Department of Infectious (later Tropical) Diseases inthe Faculty of Veterinary Sciences from 1920 to 1948 and dean of the faculty from 1927 to 1948. He was also Chairman of the UP Senate Committee from 1924 to 1926. In 1948 he was appointed Deputy President and from 1951 to 1952 as Presidentof the CSIR. He was President of the South African Veterinary Association (SAVA) from 1924 to 1930, President of the South African Biological Society in 1927 and President of the Southern African Association for the Advancement of Science in 1932. In 1929 he was Chairman of a Pan-African Veterinary Conference and from 1950 to 1960 he was President of the ScientificCouncil for Africa. He obtained a BA degree (Zool) from the University of Stellenbosch (US) in 1907, a DPhil degree (Zool) at the University of Zürich in 1912 and a DMedVet at the University of Berlin in 1916. His contributions were also recognisedinternationally by, inter alia, honorary memberships of scientific societies in France, the United Kingdom (UK) and Belgium. He also received six honorary doctorates. Prof Du Toit worked closely with Sir Arnold Theiler on the aetiology of botulism in cattleand was co-worker in many important scientific advances during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. They include, amongst others, the development of polyvalent horsesickness and bluetongue vaccines, the discovery of Culicoides spp as vectors of thesediseases, the development of vaccines against anthrax and botulism and the development of a method of immunisation against heartwater. He was author or co-author of 132 publications.