From the working group "Experimental Pathology" to the department "Pathology Unit" – historical development in retrospect
The Pathology Unit of the German Primate Center started as the working group of Experimental Pathology in 1992. This small group with one veterinary pathologist and a technician was founded based on an idea of Prof. Dr. Kuhn, who wanted to strengthen the pathology research activities and to establish a centralized electron microscopy laboratory. Later on, experimental pathology, veterinary services and primate husbandry were integrated as the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Primate Husbandry but subsequently again separated. Prof. Dr. Franz-Josef Kaup, the head of the previously integrated department, remained in his capacity as the leader of the different units. Over the years, the research activities have changed from SIV-associated pathology to other infectious diseases. Today, the main research focus is on the pathogenesis of orthopoxvirus infection, primate pathology, neglected tropical diseases and nonhuman primates as models for chronic respiratory diseases. This paper gives an overview of the historical development and aspects of research activities.