Saying Goodbye to a Longtime Friend

 Passing of Dr. Yan Ghazikhanian  

It is with profound sadness that I let you know of the passing of Dr. Yan Ghazikhanian on July 29, 2023. Dr. Yan, as he is known throughout the world turkey industry, joined Nicholas Turkey Breeding Farms (NTBF) in 1974 as staff veterinarian. He spent 33 years of his career with Nicholas and officially retired as Vice President of Veterinary Medicine in 2007. A graduate of the University of Tehran, Iran, Dr. Yan earned his DVM at the top of his class. He then traveled to the U.S. to continue his higher education through a scholarship foundation. He earned his MS and PhD in Comparative Pathology from the University of California, Davis. Dr. Yan is a Charter member and Diplomate of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians. 

Dr. Yan was a true gentleman, a kind man, a dedicated and passionate educator, making a lasting impression on everyone fortunate enough to have worked with him or crossed paths. Dr. Yan’s unwavering positivity and willingness to lend a helping hand made him appreciated in our company and the industry worldwide. Dr. Yan’s contributions to various health projects and initiatives to eradicate diseases of concern to our industry were invaluable and an inspiration to many of us. As a director of a mobile laboratory from 1972-74, Dr. Yan worked at USDA/APHIS/VS participating in the eradication of Velogenic Viscerotropic Newcastle Disease (VVND) from the Southern California poultry industry. During his career with NTBF, Dr. Yan researched and coordinated the eradication of the following avian mycoplasmas from Nicholas primary breeding stocks: M. meleagridis, M. synoviae, and M. iowae. He also completed the eradication of several salmonella species including S. arizonae. 

Dr. Yan received many awards during his tenure with Nicholas and was inducted into AAAP Hall of Honor in 2016. Dr. Yan has traveled widely in the USA, Europe and South America visiting turkey companies, attending to customer technical needs in turkey health management. His ability to work with customers to help them identify issues and develop solutions, all with his unique and charming style, has been a tremendous asset to the industry. Dr. Yan’s knowledge and years of experience has also made him a popular speaker and he has been honored to give numerous technical presentations at industry trade and scientific association meetings around the world. In addition, he co-authored the chapter on Mycoplasma meleagridis in Diseases of Poultry: Editions 9, 10 and 11. 

Beyond his professional achievements, Dr. Yan was a great friend for many of us and a loving family man. He always offered words of encouragement during tough times and celebrated successes with his family, colleagues and friends. He loved the turkey industry family but his family was always his priority. He and his wife Cheryl were actively involved in their kids and grandkids lives, attending school activities and cheering their achievements. 

To Dr. Yan we extend our deepest gratitude for the gift of their presence in our lives. He will be profoundly missed but will continue to inspire us in our endeavors. 

May Dr. Yan rest in peace. 

With our heartfelt condolences