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Featured Faculty
by Lianne Carr

Dr. Matthew Wallig, professor of comparative pathology in veterinary pathobiology, has enjoyed a full career since coming to Illinois in 1987 as an assistant professor. He initially taught Special Pathology lab, and after Dr. Harry Reynolds retired in 1991, he took over the second-year General Pathology course.

[Dr. Matthew Wallig]While continuing to teach General Pathology, Dr. Wallig has taken on many other teaching duties: nutritional science courses and seminars, basic toxicology, toxicologic pathology, interdisciplinary toxicology seminars, mechanisms of disease, and just recently surgical pathology.

Dr. Wallig was made associate professor in 1993, and gained full professorship in 2002.

Along with teaching, research has been a constant focus for Dr. Wallig. With grants from the NIH, USDA, and CFAR, he has studied the chemoprotectant properties of phytochemicals in cruciferous plants (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and turnips). These phytochemicals enhance cellular detoxification enzymes and this may protect against or possibly prevent the growth of cancer caused by carcinogens in the diet.

He has also worked with researchers in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences on feeds and alternative crops. His research is now “less and less mine and more collaborative,” including faculty in veterinary clinical medicine such as Dr. David Freeman, associate professor in equine medicine and surgery, and Dr. Barbara Kitchell, associate professor in specialty medicine/oncology.

As a pathologist board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP), Dr. Wallig continues to find time for diagnostic work, reading over 700 biopsies per year.

Dr. Wallig’s service to the College also encompasses being the residency coordinator for anatomic pathology, division chair for comparative pathology on the department’s advisory committee, adviser on graduate student committees in our College and in ACES, and co-adviser for the Student Chapter of the ACVP. On the national level, he chairs the ACVP Training Coordinators Committee and reviews articles for veterinary, food science and toxicology journals.

Recently his contributions to the College were recognized last year with the Dr. and Mrs. Lloyd Helper Veterinary Collegiality Award.

Despite being so active in the veterinary profession, Dr. Wallig does find time for other pleasures. An avid cyclist, his rides include Ride the Rockies (twice) and the annual Multiple Sclerosis bike tour across Wisconsin (12 times). He also enjoys genealogy, gardening, and history. For an added challenge, he participates in a bell choir.

With so much involvement, Dr. Wallig says, “If you lose your sense of humor, you really lose your perspective on life.”

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