Neylan Anthony Vedros

Professor Emeritus, Medical Microbiology and Immunology,
University of California at Berkeley, School of Public Health
Vedros Biosciences Laboratories

Dr. Neylan Vedros, a long-time member of the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine, a world-renown microbiologist, and a dear friend and colleague passed away in Healdsburg, CA in late June 2017 at the age of 87.

Born in the bayous of Louisiana, Neylan was the epitome of grace and class. He had an intellectual curiosity that infused his collaborative and diverse scientific research. His earliest research in the 1970s, while stationed at the Naval Bioscience Laboratory in Oakland, CA, focused on meningococcal disease in humans and established a Neisseria Reference Center for the World Health Organization.  

During the 1970s, he also became enamored with marine mammals and the marine environment, publishing manuscripts on San Miguel sea lion virus and leptospirosis in pinnipeds, as well as examining antiviral substances in California marine algae, and calicivirus (SMSV-5) infections in opaleye fish. 

He expanded his marine mammal work in the 1980s and 1990s, working with Ocean Park in Hong Kong and DolphinQuest in Hawaii, developing quantitative assays for determination of immune system health in bottlenose dolphins, as well as investigating pharmacokinetics in healthy bottlenose dolphins, and designing a polysaccharide vaccine against Pasteurella multocida for sea lions, fur seals, and dolphins.  

After his retirement from UCB in 1991, he founded Vedros Biosciences Laboratories, where he created and marketed topical demulcents for use on viral and inflammatory skin diseases, in particular, topical dermatological products, such as medicated shampoos, and skin and hair lotions for use on domestic animals, reptiles, birds, and horses. 

I met Neylan nearly 40 years ago when I tracked him down at UCB to ask him questions and work in his lab (gratis) investigating leptospirosis in California sea lions. Our first meeting initiated a long-term friendship and collaboration with him, his family, and his laboratory. I was honored to housesit his dog, fish, and birds at his Alameda, CA water-front home, when he and his wonderful wife Beryl, were away on travel. My husband and I saw both Neylan and Beryl at their home in Healdsburg, CA in summer 2015, and were happy to see he retained his jovial humor and his pipe-smoking professorial demeanor!

He was a member of the American Society of Microbiology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine, where he served as IAAAM President from 1985-1986.

His creative wit, his humor, and his collaborative spirit will be sorely missed.

Leslie A Dierauf, VM