Baltimore, Md, November 12, 2013 – Robert C. Gallo, M.D., has been named the first Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine during a ceremony November 7. The ceremony also honored the Gudelsky Family Foundation for their extraordinary generosity in supporting the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. The IHV is a leading international center of basic science, epidemiology and clinical research for a wide variety of chronic and deadly viral and immune disorders. Dr. Gallo, who is widely known for his pioneering research in the field of human retroviruses with his discoveries of, Il-2, HTLV-1 and HTLV-2, his co-discovery of HIV as the cause of AIDS, and his development of the HIV blood test, is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Institute of Human Virology in the School of Medicine, and Co-Founder and Scientific Director of the Global Virus Network (GVN).
John Gudelsky, the President and CEO of The Homer & Martha Gudelsky Family Foundation, Inc., and the son of Homer and Martha Gudelsky, commented: "This endowed professorship was established by our family foundation in recognition of the extraordinary professors and doctors at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and at the University of Maryland Medical System, who are innovating new technologies and protocols that will help advance and improve the health and well-being of fellow human beings in Maryland and throughout the World. We are honored that Dr. Gallo, a preeminent international scientist, has been selected to be the first beneficiary of our endowment," he said.
The Homer & Martha Gudelsky Family Foundation, Inc. established The Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professorship in Medicine in December 2005 in recognition of the distinguished medical careers of Donald E. Wilson, MD, MACP, Dean Emeritus, and John A. Kastor, MD, professor and former chair of the Department of Medicine. The Foundation has been a loyal supporter of the School of Medicine since 1969, when the Foundation established the Harry Gudelsky Fund, in honor of Homer Gudelsky's brother, to provide support for students who are contributing directly to active research programs toward the understanding and control of cancer and heart disease. Additionally, the Foundation established the Dr. Emily Fairchild Endowment for the Residents' Support Fund in December 2008 and donated $5 million to the University of Maryland Medical System in 1991 to construct the 10-story state-of-the-art clinical tower on Lombard and Greene Streets, which today bears the name "The Homer Gudelsky Building."
"Dr. Robert Gallo is a world-renowned scientist whose breakthrough discoveries and scholarly contributions have impacted the University of Maryland School of Medicine for more than two decades," said E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland and John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "He is a visionary scientist and investigator who has unlocked many important mysteries of human viruses and diseases. He embodies all of the attributes of a faculty member who holds a distinguished professorship. Honoring Dr. Gallo in this way is long overdue."
Dr. Gallo and his colleagues, IHV Associate Director, William Blattner, M.D. and IHV Associate Director, Robert Redfield, M.D., formed the Institute of Human Virology in 1996 as a partnership between the State of Maryland, the City of Baltimore, the University System of Maryland and the University of Maryland Medical System. IHV is the first institute of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and is home to some of the most globally-recognized and world-renowned experts in the field of human virology.
"Needless to say, I am very happy and honored by this distinction," Dr. Gallo said. "I am, of course, first and foremost grateful to the Gudelsky Family Foundation, School of Medicine Dean E. Albert Reece, Department of Medicine Chair Stephen Davis, and IHV Board of Advisors Chair Terry Lierman for helping to establish this honor. I will be very proud to wear the Gudelsky name."
Before co-founding IHV, Dr. Gallo spent 30 years at the National Cancer Institute, as head of Tumor Cell Biology. Dr. Gallo's current work at the IHV combines the disciplines of research, patient care, and prevention programs in a concerted effort to speed the pace of medical breakthroughs. In particular, Dr. Gallo is the principal investigator of IHV's promising HIV preventive vaccine candidate. Dr. Gallo has authored over 1,200 scientific publications as well as the book "Virus Hunting - AIDS, Cancer & the Human Retrovirus." Dr. Gallo has been awarded 31 honorary doctorates and was twice recipient of the Albert Lasker Award in Medicine (1982 and 1986). Dr. Gallo is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.
About the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine
Formed in 1996 as a partnership between the State of Maryland, the City of Baltimore, the University System of Maryland and the University of Maryland Medical System, IHV is an institute of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and is home to some of the most globally-recognized and world-renowned experts in all of virology. The IHV is the first center in the United States to combine the disciplines of basic research, epidemiology and clinical research in a concerted effort to speed the discovery of diagnostics and therapeutics for a wide variety of chronic and deadly viral and immune disorders - most notably the HIV virus that causes AIDS.
About the University of Maryland School of Medicine
Established in 1807, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was the first public medical school in the United States, and the first to institute a residency-training program. The School of Medicine was the founding school of the University of Maryland and today is an integral part of the 11-campus University System of Maryland. On the University of Maryland's Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine serves as the anchor for a large academic health center which aims to provide the best medical education, conduct the most innovative biomedical research and provide the best patient care and community service to Maryland and beyond. http://www.medschool.umaryland.edu.
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