McMaster University scientist Dr. Ludvik Prevec ‘had a curiosity to learn that flowed through everything’

News Jun 01, 2020 Hamilton Spectator

It’s not surprising Dr. Ludvik Prevec downplayed his role in creating a wildlife vaccine for rabies with a McMaster University colleague.

Prevec, a virologist, created the vaccine with Dr. Frank Graham, an award-winning and internationally renowned biologist who has done pioneering work in gene therapy.

It came on line in 2006 and is now used by the Ontario government to control rabies in animals like raccoons. It is called Ontario Rabies Vaccine Bait (ONRAB) and has also proved successful on raccoons in the United States.

“Without Frank, there would have been no project,” Prevec told The Spectator in 2016.

“I’m just pleased we were able to contribute ... It started as a scientific lark and ended up as a useful product.”

Friends like Allan Dingle, a fellow McMaster scientist, say Prevec — who died March 29 at the age of 83 — was always “unusually” modest of his own accomplishments.

In a remembrance by friends and family put together for The Spectator by Dr. Alan McComas, former chair of the department of biomedical sciences, Prevec was called “a good man” who touched many lives and through his work as a researcher of viruses “probably saved a number of lives too.”

“Had Lud lived a little longer, he would have watched the continuing COVID-19 onslaught with alarm,” said McComas.

“Had he been twenty years younger he — and Frank — would have been leading the fight against it.”

The pair also worked on a vaccine at the time of the SARS outbreak in the Toronto area. They took the project on with no specific research funding and published a paper on it in 2006.

McComas said Graham’s research into the cell lines of mammals is being used by biotechnology companies and universities in a search for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Prevec, who came to McMaster in 1966, was also known for the work he did on VSV, a virus that infects pigs, cattle and horses. He was involved in the writing of 67 papers on viruses between 1963 and 2011.

The son of a gold miner, Prevec had a sideline as a licensed gold prospector. He often attended the annual northern mining conference in Toronto.

Friends on social media called Prevec a great mentor, who was always positive and taught his students to be critical thinkers. Some also spoke on how he had a good work and life balance.

“Lud mentored me through me PhD,” said Earl Brown. “He was generous and fun-loving and genuine. He was outgoing and engaging. Lud loved life, his job and his family. He was a spirited mentor in science and had a broad view of science.”

Jean Vas called Prevec “a true gentleman” and “a scholar” who lived his life his way.

“Not only have the family lost a gentle soul, but so will all those who knew him,” Vas added.

Daniel and Wendy Coleman said that Prevec “had a curiosity to learn that flowed through everything, whether from rocks or epidemiology or friends and neighbours. He fed our own curiosity and interest in the world.”

The longtime Aldershot resident was born August 19, 1936, in Kirkland Lake to Anton and Margaret Prevec. His parents came to Canada from Slovenia. His father worked as a timberman and machineman in the Wright-Hargreaves gold mine and his mother was a homemaker and a cleaning woman. His father had served in the Austro-Hungarian Army during the First World War.

Prevec graduated from geology and physics from the University of Toronto in 1959. He changed fields after being influenced by the work of Dr. Harold Johns, the father of medical biophysics in Canada who performed groundbreaking work in radiation therapy for cancer patients.

Prevec switched to molecular biology and virology. He got his MA and then his PhD in his new fields from the University of Toronto in 1965.

Prevec did a post-doctoral fellow at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia before he came to McMaster and joined the biology department. He also was a visiting scientist at the Institute of Virology in Glasgow and in the department of microbiology at the University of Ottawa.

After he retired and became a professor emeritus in 1996, Dingle recalled Prevec set up a weekly meeting for retirees from his department.

“Although the core group was made up of biologists, it grew to include medics, physicists, historians, visiting scientists and, occasionally, the university president,” Dingle said. “Regrettably ... when Lud had to stop attending the entire enterprise quietly folded.”

Outside of McMaster, Prevec liked to fish, play chess and sing in the choir at St. Joseph’s Church in Hamilton.

He had an interest in 19th century Arctic explorer John Rae, who had ties to Hamilton, and often wrote and spoke about him. Prevec was active in the Hamilton Association for the Advancement of Literature, Science and Arts, and spoke to the group about Rae. He served as president between 1996 and 1998.

“Lud Prevec was a guiding force and a good friend to the association, always interested in helping it prosper,” the HAALSA said in a statement. “He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.”

Prevec is survived by his wife Rosemary, sons Steve and John and daughter Rose Anne. He is also survived by six grandchildren. He was predeceased by his brother Anton, who died of whooping cough when he was 10.

Reach The Spectator newsroom at 905-526-3420 or news@thespec.com

McMaster University scientist Dr. Ludvik Prevec ‘had a curiosity to learn that flowed through everything’

He helped create anti-rabies vaccine used in Ontario on raccoons

News Jun 01, 2020 Hamilton Spectator

It’s not surprising Dr. Ludvik Prevec downplayed his role in creating a wildlife vaccine for rabies with a McMaster University colleague.

Prevec, a virologist, created the vaccine with Dr. Frank Graham, an award-winning and internationally renowned biologist who has done pioneering work in gene therapy.

It came on line in 2006 and is now used by the Ontario government to control rabies in animals like raccoons. It is called Ontario Rabies Vaccine Bait (ONRAB) and has also proved successful on raccoons in the United States.

“Without Frank, there would have been no project,” Prevec told The Spectator in 2016.

“I’m just pleased we were able to contribute ... It started as a scientific lark and ended up as a useful product.”

Friends like Allan Dingle, a fellow McMaster scientist, say Prevec — who died March 29 at the age of 83 — was always “unusually” modest of his own accomplishments.

In a remembrance by friends and family put together for The Spectator by Dr. Alan McComas, former chair of the department of biomedical sciences, Prevec was called “a good man” who touched many lives and through his work as a researcher of viruses “probably saved a number of lives too.”

“Had Lud lived a little longer, he would have watched the continuing COVID-19 onslaught with alarm,” said McComas.

“Had he been twenty years younger he — and Frank — would have been leading the fight against it.”

The pair also worked on a vaccine at the time of the SARS outbreak in the Toronto area. They took the project on with no specific research funding and published a paper on it in 2006.

McComas said Graham’s research into the cell lines of mammals is being used by biotechnology companies and universities in a search for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Prevec, who came to McMaster in 1966, was also known for the work he did on VSV, a virus that infects pigs, cattle and horses. He was involved in the writing of 67 papers on viruses between 1963 and 2011.

The son of a gold miner, Prevec had a sideline as a licensed gold prospector. He often attended the annual northern mining conference in Toronto.

Friends on social media called Prevec a great mentor, who was always positive and taught his students to be critical thinkers. Some also spoke on how he had a good work and life balance.

“Lud mentored me through me PhD,” said Earl Brown. “He was generous and fun-loving and genuine. He was outgoing and engaging. Lud loved life, his job and his family. He was a spirited mentor in science and had a broad view of science.”

Jean Vas called Prevec “a true gentleman” and “a scholar” who lived his life his way.

“Not only have the family lost a gentle soul, but so will all those who knew him,” Vas added.

Daniel and Wendy Coleman said that Prevec “had a curiosity to learn that flowed through everything, whether from rocks or epidemiology or friends and neighbours. He fed our own curiosity and interest in the world.”

The longtime Aldershot resident was born August 19, 1936, in Kirkland Lake to Anton and Margaret Prevec. His parents came to Canada from Slovenia. His father worked as a timberman and machineman in the Wright-Hargreaves gold mine and his mother was a homemaker and a cleaning woman. His father had served in the Austro-Hungarian Army during the First World War.

Prevec graduated from geology and physics from the University of Toronto in 1959. He changed fields after being influenced by the work of Dr. Harold Johns, the father of medical biophysics in Canada who performed groundbreaking work in radiation therapy for cancer patients.

Prevec switched to molecular biology and virology. He got his MA and then his PhD in his new fields from the University of Toronto in 1965.

Prevec did a post-doctoral fellow at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia before he came to McMaster and joined the biology department. He also was a visiting scientist at the Institute of Virology in Glasgow and in the department of microbiology at the University of Ottawa.

After he retired and became a professor emeritus in 1996, Dingle recalled Prevec set up a weekly meeting for retirees from his department.

“Although the core group was made up of biologists, it grew to include medics, physicists, historians, visiting scientists and, occasionally, the university president,” Dingle said. “Regrettably ... when Lud had to stop attending the entire enterprise quietly folded.”

Outside of McMaster, Prevec liked to fish, play chess and sing in the choir at St. Joseph’s Church in Hamilton.

He had an interest in 19th century Arctic explorer John Rae, who had ties to Hamilton, and often wrote and spoke about him. Prevec was active in the Hamilton Association for the Advancement of Literature, Science and Arts, and spoke to the group about Rae. He served as president between 1996 and 1998.

“Lud Prevec was a guiding force and a good friend to the association, always interested in helping it prosper,” the HAALSA said in a statement. “He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.”

Prevec is survived by his wife Rosemary, sons Steve and John and daughter Rose Anne. He is also survived by six grandchildren. He was predeceased by his brother Anton, who died of whooping cough when he was 10.

Reach The Spectator newsroom at 905-526-3420 or news@thespec.com

McMaster University scientist Dr. Ludvik Prevec ‘had a curiosity to learn that flowed through everything’

He helped create anti-rabies vaccine used in Ontario on raccoons

News Jun 01, 2020 Hamilton Spectator

It’s not surprising Dr. Ludvik Prevec downplayed his role in creating a wildlife vaccine for rabies with a McMaster University colleague.

Prevec, a virologist, created the vaccine with Dr. Frank Graham, an award-winning and internationally renowned biologist who has done pioneering work in gene therapy.

It came on line in 2006 and is now used by the Ontario government to control rabies in animals like raccoons. It is called Ontario Rabies Vaccine Bait (ONRAB) and has also proved successful on raccoons in the United States.

“Without Frank, there would have been no project,” Prevec told The Spectator in 2016.

“I’m just pleased we were able to contribute ... It started as a scientific lark and ended up as a useful product.”

Friends like Allan Dingle, a fellow McMaster scientist, say Prevec — who died March 29 at the age of 83 — was always “unusually” modest of his own accomplishments.

In a remembrance by friends and family put together for The Spectator by Dr. Alan McComas, former chair of the department of biomedical sciences, Prevec was called “a good man” who touched many lives and through his work as a researcher of viruses “probably saved a number of lives too.”

“Had Lud lived a little longer, he would have watched the continuing COVID-19 onslaught with alarm,” said McComas.

“Had he been twenty years younger he — and Frank — would have been leading the fight against it.”

The pair also worked on a vaccine at the time of the SARS outbreak in the Toronto area. They took the project on with no specific research funding and published a paper on it in 2006.

McComas said Graham’s research into the cell lines of mammals is being used by biotechnology companies and universities in a search for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Prevec, who came to McMaster in 1966, was also known for the work he did on VSV, a virus that infects pigs, cattle and horses. He was involved in the writing of 67 papers on viruses between 1963 and 2011.

The son of a gold miner, Prevec had a sideline as a licensed gold prospector. He often attended the annual northern mining conference in Toronto.

Friends on social media called Prevec a great mentor, who was always positive and taught his students to be critical thinkers. Some also spoke on how he had a good work and life balance.

“Lud mentored me through me PhD,” said Earl Brown. “He was generous and fun-loving and genuine. He was outgoing and engaging. Lud loved life, his job and his family. He was a spirited mentor in science and had a broad view of science.”

Jean Vas called Prevec “a true gentleman” and “a scholar” who lived his life his way.

“Not only have the family lost a gentle soul, but so will all those who knew him,” Vas added.

Daniel and Wendy Coleman said that Prevec “had a curiosity to learn that flowed through everything, whether from rocks or epidemiology or friends and neighbours. He fed our own curiosity and interest in the world.”

The longtime Aldershot resident was born August 19, 1936, in Kirkland Lake to Anton and Margaret Prevec. His parents came to Canada from Slovenia. His father worked as a timberman and machineman in the Wright-Hargreaves gold mine and his mother was a homemaker and a cleaning woman. His father had served in the Austro-Hungarian Army during the First World War.

Prevec graduated from geology and physics from the University of Toronto in 1959. He changed fields after being influenced by the work of Dr. Harold Johns, the father of medical biophysics in Canada who performed groundbreaking work in radiation therapy for cancer patients.

Prevec switched to molecular biology and virology. He got his MA and then his PhD in his new fields from the University of Toronto in 1965.

Prevec did a post-doctoral fellow at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia before he came to McMaster and joined the biology department. He also was a visiting scientist at the Institute of Virology in Glasgow and in the department of microbiology at the University of Ottawa.

After he retired and became a professor emeritus in 1996, Dingle recalled Prevec set up a weekly meeting for retirees from his department.

“Although the core group was made up of biologists, it grew to include medics, physicists, historians, visiting scientists and, occasionally, the university president,” Dingle said. “Regrettably ... when Lud had to stop attending the entire enterprise quietly folded.”

Outside of McMaster, Prevec liked to fish, play chess and sing in the choir at St. Joseph’s Church in Hamilton.

He had an interest in 19th century Arctic explorer John Rae, who had ties to Hamilton, and often wrote and spoke about him. Prevec was active in the Hamilton Association for the Advancement of Literature, Science and Arts, and spoke to the group about Rae. He served as president between 1996 and 1998.

“Lud Prevec was a guiding force and a good friend to the association, always interested in helping it prosper,” the HAALSA said in a statement. “He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.”

Prevec is survived by his wife Rosemary, sons Steve and John and daughter Rose Anne. He is also survived by six grandchildren. He was predeceased by his brother Anton, who died of whooping cough when he was 10.

Reach The Spectator newsroom at 905-526-3420 or news@thespec.com