“When you look at how we started these programs from nothing, to where we are at today, to the number of good people working here, the incredible advances we’ve made in technology and knowledge, I’m just very proud. I wish I could continue my work but, honestly, I can’t understand the language anymore – that’s how far we’ve come.”
Dr. Edward Gillette, 2006
The Fort Collins Breakfast Rotary Club honored Dr. Edward L. Gillette, Professor Emeritus of Colorado State University, on July 8 with the planting of a memorial blue spruce tree at the City of Fort Collins Spring Creek Gardens. Dr. Gillette, who spearheaded the development of the Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University, died in 2006 after a 10-year battle with cancer. A plaque in front of the tree notes the planting is “in honor of the perpetual vocational inspiration of Dr. Ed Gillette.”
Dr. Gillette joined Colorado State University in 1959 as an instructor in the Department of Medicine after graduating from Kansas State University with his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. He went on to complete his master’s degree in radiology and his doctorate in physiology at CSU. In 1969, following a sabbatical at M.D. Anderson, Dr. Gillette began to develop the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science’s Program in Comparative Oncology.
In 1972, Dr. Gillette and his study group received a grant from the National Cancer Institute to study the late effects of radiation, and he began to build a comprehensive oncology program that eventually became one of the few multidisciplinary centers of excellence for animal cancer care in the world. He was instrumental to the development and expansion of the Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging Group, even toward the end of his life when he actively worked to secure a new linear accelerator for the group.
During his time at CSU, Dr. Gillette served as Director of Comparative Oncology, Department Head, and Associate Dean with the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He also co-authored a textbook on veterinary radiology and was the author of countless journal papers.