Dr. Wallach obtained a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Missouri in 1962, with a major in Animal Husbandry (Nutrition) and a minor in Field Crops and Soils. In 1964 he was awarded a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.), also from the University of Missouri . Thereafter, Dr. Wallach completed a three year (1965-68) post-doctoral fellowship at The Center for the Biology of Natural Systems at Washington University in St. Louis , Missouri . In 1982 he obtained a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine (N.D.) from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland , Oregon.
Dr. Joel D. Wallach’s background and professional Career
Joel D. Wallach was born in West St. Louis County on June 4, 1940. Growing up on a farm led him to decide already early in his life to become a veterinarian and nutritionist. After finishing high school, Wallach enrolled in the University of Missouri at Columbia, first to study Agriculture with a major in animal husbandry and a minor in field crops and soils. The School of Agriculture at the University of Missouri has departments of nutrition, food science, geology and biochemistry and an internationally acclaimed “Trace Substances Research Center” which explores the biological, economic, and health significance of trace substances in environmental health. In this interdisciplinary academic environment, Wallach flourished and gathered a wealth of information that would later help him in his practice as a veterinary pathologist and naturopathic physician. In 1962, Wallach received a B.S. Degree in Agriculture from Missouri and continued on to study veterinary medicine at the same Institution, which in 1964 awarded him the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.). From 1966 to 1967, he held a post-doctoral fellowship in comparative medicine at the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems, George-Washington-University, St. Louis. Thereafter, Wallach worked at Iowa State University Diagnostic Laboratory, Ames, Iowa, and subsequently, for two years, at Natal Fish & Game Department, Natal, Republic of South Africa.
During the early 1960s, environmental pollution and other ecological factors were thought to cause the premature death of captive animals and possibly of humans. The National Institutes of Health awarded the St. Louis Zoological Gardens a large grant to identify these factors. The project required a well-rounded wildlife veterinarian and pathologist. Wallach was hired for this position, which provided him with the opportunity to autopsy a wide variety of captive wild animals dying of natural causes in zoos at St. Louis, Chicago, Los Angeles, Jacksonville, and Memphis. Later, at the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center, Department of Pathology, Atlanta, Georgia, Wallach conducted comparative autoptic studies on primates as well as on humans. His work was progressing well until 1979, when he discovered pancreatic lesions in the offspring of a family of inadequately fed rhesus monkeys which histologically were identical to those observed in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). This finding led Wallach to propose that CF in humans was also caused by nutritional imbalances and/or deficiencies. As CF is considered to be a genetic disorder, his view seemed so extreme at the time that he was dismissed from his position at Yerkes Primate Research Center. Scientific evidence would subsequently catch up with his bold hypothesis, but in the interim, with little or no chance of finding an appropriate position in his profession, Wallach decided to change careers. In 1980, Wallach joined the Faculty of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, where he taught in the area of nutrition while pursuing an N.D. degree in 1982. After obtaining his N.D. degree and license in 1982, Wallach went into private practice in Cannon Beach, Oregon, specializing in the nutritional treatment of cystic fibrosis patients. In 1987, to continue his research on cystic fibrosis, he travelled to China with his new wife, Dr. Ma Lan, a Chinese physician, to conduct a study at Harbin Medical University. From 1990 to 1993, Wallach worked (legally) as a naturopathic physician for Hospital Santa Monica in Tijuana/Mexico.