1960-1986 | prof. dr. J.P.H. van der Want

Following Thung’s death, Dr J.P.H. van der Want was appointed Professor of Virology, a position he held until 1986. Until his appointment, Van der Want had been head of the Virology Department at IPO (a position in which he also succeeded Thung). Van der Want gave his staff full freedom to choose and develop their own research areas and was able to significantly expand the chair group in terms of fields of interest. He was active on several boards. He was a member of the executive committee of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, and organised the International Conference of Virology in The Hague in 1978. Under his leadership, Wageningen virology research increasingly focused on viruses affecting plants and invertebrates, which remains WUR’s main research field to this day.