Obituary

from University of Missouri

Richard B. Talbot Papers

Special Collections,

Virginia Polytechnic Institute 

and State University Library

A Tribute to Allen W. Hahn, DVM, MS, PhD DACVIM (Cardiology)

1933 - 2018 

Dr. Al Hahn, as a pioneer in the field, embodied the spirit of innovation and the lifetime of accomplishments that this award is meant to recognize.  As a founding member of the American Veterinary Computer Society (AVCS), which grew into AVI, Dr. Hahn understood the importance and need for promotion and growth of the intertwined fields of biomedical and veterinary informatics.  From an initial vision of how computers might transform veterinary education and medicine to recent inroads in the use of informatics tools to aid and inform the clinical practitioner, AVI strives to improve veterinary medicine by way of informatics.


He was an inspiration to all who knew him.

While Dr. Hahn’s body of work typifies the level of achievement this award would recognize, his personal spirit and encouraging nature make the naming of this award in his honor a fitting tribute to him.  Those of us who had the privilege of knowing and working with him felt firsthand the firm and gentle support that he gave to us starting out in this field.  He, with others, laid the groundwork for where we are now. And he always remained encouraging and reminded us that what we do is important and should continue.

A few of his contributions:

Dr. Hahn earned his BS in agriculture and his DVM from University of Missouri in 1958.  He then earned both MS and PhD in biomedical engineering from Drexel University, and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, specializing in cardiology. In 1961 he became an instructor at University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and Drexel University in biological studies, with a special fellowship at National Heart Institute-Graduate studies in Biomedical Engineering. In 1969, he returned to his alma mater, the University of Missouri Veterinary School, to teach and conduct research at Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center. He was a professor at the veterinary school, teaching his passions: computer applications in veterinary medicine (veterinary informatics), esp. artificial intelligence, expert systems and ECG processing;  comparative cardiovascular performance and disease in non-human species; biological sensing electrodes; and biomaterials.  In addition to his university teaching of undergraduate, graduate and veterinary students, he supervised and mentored numerous graduate students and residents during their professional training at the University of Missouri. 

He authored or co-authored more than 180 academic publications and held five US patents for his research in the medical field. He received more than $2.3 million in grants for his research at the university. In 1993 Dr. Hahn received the University of Missouri faculty alumni award. In 2001 he received the Geyer Award for public service to higher education, and he was a lifetime honor roll member to AVMA.  After retirement he continued to remain active in veterinary medicine by serving on national committees, organizations related to veterinary databases, standards development organizations in veterinary informatics, and in the organization and promotion of annual symposia on bioengineering.  He was named Chairman Emeritus of MU PAC, a bipartisan political action committee raising funds in support of higher education in Missouri.

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