Dr. Witter, a native of Orono, Maine, attended Michigan State University where
he received the B.S. degree in 1958 and D.V.M. degree in 1960 and Cornell University
where he received the M.S. degree in 1962 and Ph.D. degree in 1964.
Since 1964, Dr. Witter has been employed as a veterinary medical officer with the
USDA-ARS-Avian Disease and Oncology Laboratory (ADOL). During his career, he has
conducted research on Marek's disease, avian leukosis, and reticuloendotheliosis - the
principal viral neoplastic diseases of chickens and turkeys. He is a frequent speaker
at technical conferences in the United States and other countries. He has received
numerous awards and recognition for his research. He was elected to membership in
the National Academy of Sciences in 1998.
For over 22 years as director and research leader of ADOL, Dr. Witter administered a
multidisciplinary research program on the biology of important avian viral neoplasms,
as well as programs on recombinant DNA vaccines, immunogenetics, transgenic chickens,
and genome mapping. He returned to the bench in 1998 where he pursued his personal research
on Marek's disease and avian leukosis until his retirement in 2002.
In retirement, he continues to be active in scientific and professional endeavors, and serves
both as a Collaborator with the ADOL and as adjunct professor with the Department of Pathobiology
and Clinical Investigations at Michigan State University. Current activities include
promotion the advancement of science in the Middle East and Central Asia through USAID, ARS
and NRC grant programs. He was recently chair of the organizing committee for the XIII
Congress of the World's Veterinary Poultry Association which was held in Denver, 2003.