Published June 18, 2018
Two Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences faculty members have been named recipients of 2018 SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence.
The Chancellor’s Awards acknowledge and provide systemwide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement, and they encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence.
“Our faculty and staff educate, inspire and support our students to pursue their passions; they are the driving force on campus,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “Those we honor are leading this effort through their commitment to their craft and their dedication to our students.”
The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities recognizes the work of those who engage actively in scholarly and creative pursuits beyond their teaching responsibilities.
Jacobs School recipients are: Laurie K. Read, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology; and Gil I. Wolfe, MD, UB Distinguished Professor and Irvin and Rosemary Smith Chair of neurology.
Read is an internationally acclaimed scholar who is described by colleagues as being “among the few world leaders in the study of trypanosome cell and molecular biology” and “a star in the fields of parasitology and microbiology.”
Read co-authored a series of papers describing various aspects of mRNA editing in mitochondria — research that is considered seminal by peers not only in the parasitology field but also in the much larger field of RNA processing.
Respected by colleagues for her nearly three decades of scholarly excellence in the RNA editing field, Read also is highly regarded for her recent investigations into mRNA degradation in mitochondria and notably for her outstanding research with the protein methylome in trypanosomes and the particularly important role of arginine methylation in trypanosome RNA biology.
Read is a faculty member in the Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics (GGB) program.
A highly productive researcher, Read has published 73 peer-reviewed papers, most of which have appeared in top-ranked journals in her field, and two book chapters. Her research has been continuously funded for more than 20 years.
In 2014, Read was honored with the UB Exceptional Scholars — Sustained Achievement Award, recognizing unprecedented accomplishment and a distinguishing body of work with enduring importance.
In addition to her scholarship, Read is dedicated to her professional field. She served the National Institutes of Health as a full member of two study sections, a further testament to her reputation in her area of expertise and the trust and respect she has earned from her peers. She has provided ad hoc reviews of grants for the NIH and the National Science Foundation, among many others.
An internationally renowned leader in neuromuscular disorders, with a primary focus on myasthenia gravis (MG), Wolfe has made significant contributions to the field of neurology.
His landmark study examining the benefits of surgical removal of the thymus (thymectomy) — a mainstay in the treatment of MG — showed definitively, and for the first time, that patients with MG experience a clear benefit from thymectomy.
The study was named one of neurology’s “Top Stories of 2016” by the New England Journal of Medicine Journal Watch.
In addition to publishing the thymectomy trial in the New England Journal of Medicine, he has 120 publications in such high-impact journals as Journal of the American Medical Association, Neurology, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Annals of Neurology and Muscle & Nerve.
Wolfe is a faculty member in the GGB program.
A highly sought-after expert in his field, Wolfe has been invited to present more than 220 lectures, workshops and seminars at national or international conferences and meetings, including the 2016 and 2018 International Congress on Neuromuscular Diseases.
The rank of UB Distinguished Professor was bestowed upon Wolfe in 2017. The designation honors professors who have achieved national or international recognition in their fields of study.
A fellow of the American Neurological Association and the American Academy of Neurology, he is actively involved in establishing national and international consensus guidelines for the management of MG and trial outcome measures for the condition.
Wolfe co-directed an expert panel that published the first international treatment recommendations for patients with MG in 2016. The Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America awarded him with its 2015 Doctor of the Year Award.
He is also involved in research review committees for the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine and the American Academy of Neurology and as an ad hoc reviewer for the Department of Defense.