Dr. William (Bill) Gay

– October 11, 2012

Dr. William (Bill) Gay, AALAS National President (1968) and National Capital Area Branch President (1962), was a remarkable man who during the course of his life and career made many important seminal contributions in the field of laboratory animal science.

A diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, he was director of the National Institutes of Health Division of Research Resources’ Animal Resources Program prior to retirement in 1988. Following graduation, Dr. Gay practiced small animal medicine on Long Island, N.Y., for two years. He then joined the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he served as chief of the Department of Animal Husbandry. In 1954, Dr. Gay began his career with the NIH in its Division of Research Services’ Laboratory Aids Branch. He went on to serve as chief of the branch’s Animal Hospital Section in 1955, was named assistant chief of the branch in 1962, and was appointed chief of the branch in 1967.

Dr. Gay subsequently served as acting associate director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and, in 1970, he became associate director of extramural programs for the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He was involved with the early stages of the NIAID’s HIV/AIDS research program, overseeing the evolution and growth of the NIH’s involvement in AIDS research. Dr. Gay later took over directorship of extramural programs, serving in that capacity until his appointment in 1980 as director of the NIH-DRR Animal Resources Program. As director of the program, he administered the activities of the NIH’s Regional Primate Research Centers and the laboratory animal sciences program, including upgrading institutional animal resources, supporting facilities engaged in the diagnosis and control of animal disease, training specialists in laboratory animal science, and developing colonies of laboratory animal models.

Following his retirement from the NIH, Dr. Gay served as a veterinary consultant with various biotechnology organizations in the United States. Active in organized veterinary medicine, he was a past president of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science and District of Columbia VMA and was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Gay chaired the Animal Care Panel on Ethical Considerations in the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, which led to the preparation of the NIH guide in 1963. He received the AALAS Griffin Award in 1971, and, in 1975, he was honored by the NIH for his leadership in the management of the NIAID’s extramural programs and development of innovative methods for assessing ongoing special emphasis programs.

Dr. Gay was a strong advocate for the humane care and use of animals in research, testing, and teaching. He was a colleague, mentor and friend to many and will be remembered fondly by all that knew him.

Keep his passion alive through the AALAS Foundation.

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