Dr. Beat Hörnlimann, MPH was born in 1958, studied veterinary medicine at the Universities of Basel, Bern and Zurich, Switzerland and later went on to obtain an additional university degree in public health (Master of Public Health). He joined the WHO Reference Laboratory for Rabies in Bern and afterwards the Institute of Animal Pathology at the University of Bern. Since 1990 he has dedicated himself to the study of prion diseases. At the Swiss Federal Veterinary Office in Bern he was mainly involved in the BSE eradication program and served as the scientific BSE/CJD-coordinator for Switzerland until early 1997. He carried out research on BSE epidemiology and investigations on FSE prevention at the Institute of Virology and Immunoprophylaxis, Mittelhäusern, with particular focus on the Swiss BSE cases born after the feed ban of December 1990. Parallel to these activities he contributed to the international harmonization of the Swiss CJD surveillance program and dealt with chemical disinfection – including conventional micro-organisms – for the Swiss Federal Public Health Office, Bern, until 1999. On several occasions between 1991 and 1999 he participated in WHO Consultations on prion diseases. From 1999 to 2003 he served as the Chief Veterinary Officer for Canton Zug (ehem. Kantonstierarzt Kanton Zug). He founded BSE 71-92 Ltd. (SVISS Consulting on Animal & Public Health) in October 2000; a non-profit agency dedicated to networking with prion experts and the aim of publishing interdisciplinary information on prions in humans and animals, as exemplified in this book. SVISS Consulting also focuses on the history of research on prion diseases in humans and animals. Dr. B. Hornlimann’s particular interests are the inactivation of prions using chemical disinfection and the containment of disease.

Dr. Beat Hörnlimann, MPH, Chief Editor
SVISS Consulting
P.O. Box 513
CH-6312 Steinhausen, Switzerland



Prof. Dr. Detlev Riesner
was born in 1941, studied physics and biophysics at the University of Hannover, Germany. He obtained his Ph.D. on thermodynamics of ribonucleic acids with Prof. M. Eigen at the University of Braunschweig, Germany in 1970. He carried out postdoctoral research at the Society for Biotechnological Research in Braunschweig, Germany and at Princeton University, USA. In 1975, he obtained his ‘Habilitation’ in biophysical chemistry and molecular biology at the Hannover Medical School, Germany. Between 1977 and 1980 Detlev Riesner was professor of physical biochemistry at the Institute for Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Institute of Technology Darmstadt, Germany. In 1980 he became a full professor and chairman of the Institute for Physical Biology at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany, where he also served as dean and vice-chancellor for research. His major interests focus on prion research and viroids. He is a cofounder of several successful biotech companies and works as an advisor to biotechnological start-up companies and international organizations. In 1985 his close cooperation with Stanley B. Prusiner on prion diseases began, resulting in both Detlev Riesner and Stanley B. Prusiner receiving the Max Planck Research Award for International Cooperation in 1992.

Prof. Dr. Detlev Riesner
Heinrich–Heine University Duesseldorf
Institute of Physical Biology
Universitaetsstrasse 1      
D–40225 Duesseldorf, Germany

Prof. Dr.
Hans Kretzschmar, FRCPath, born in 1953, studied human medicine at the University of Munich, Germany, where he was also trained in pathology. From 1983 to 1986 Hans Kretzschmar carried out research in the Department of Neuropathology at the University of California in San Francisco, USA, where he began his work on prion diseases in collaboration with Stanley B. Prusiner. After a one year research stay with Charles Weissmann’s group at the Institute for Molecular Biology at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, he obtained his ‘Habilitation’ in neuropathology at the University of Munich. From 1992 until 2000 Hans Kretzschmar was director of the Department of Neuropathology at the University of Göttingen, Germany. He has been responsible for the German Reference Center for Prion Diseases since 1993. He has also served as advisor to the EC and WHO Committees concerned with prion diseases. In 2000 he became director of the Department of Neuropathology at the University of Munich, Germany, where he set up and directs the German Reference Center for Diseases of the CNS and the National Reference Center for Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies. In 1999 he received the Ernst Jung Award for his work on the molecular biology of the prion protein.

Prof. Dr. Hans Kretzschmar
Center of Neuropathology and Prion Research
Ludwig–Maximilians–University Munich
D–-81377 München, Germany