Published February 20, 2012
Gil I. Wolfe, MD, was installed as the The Irvin and Rosemary Smith Professor and Chair in Neurology during a Feb. 17 ceremony presided over by UB President Satish K. Tripathi and Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences and dean, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
A leading authority on neuromuscular disorders, Wolfe was recruited to UB in October from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, where he served as the Dr. Bob and Jean Smith Foundation Distinguished Chair in Neuromuscular Disease Research.
Following his installation, Wolfe, who is an expert on idiopathic and immune-mediated peripheral neuropathies and myasthenia gravis (MG), delivered a lecture titled “Thymectomy in Immune MG: The Rationale for MGTX.”
In his talk, he described a multinational study he is leading that is funded by National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Biogen, a leading international biotechnology company, endowed the Irvin and Rosemary Smith Chair in Neurology.
The research successes of the chair’s first holder, Lawrence D. Jacobs, MD, were instrumental to its creation. A professor of neurology, Jacobs discovered that interferon beta-1a is an effective treatment for some forms of multiple sclerosis.
His studies led to the development of Avonex, the drug most prescribed to treat patients with the relapsing forms of the disease.
Jacobs’s breakthrough brought worldwide acclaim and support, including the $1 million Smith Chair.
It is named in honor of Irvin Smith, a retired vice president of Biogen—which manufacturers Avonex—and his wife, Rosemary.