At an event held on July 16, 2014, Advancing Research in MS (ARMS), an advocacy group formed in March 2013, pledged to raise $75,000 for Dept. of Neurology investigations into the impact of aging on patients with multiple sclerosis. The group has already raised funding for a data automation project directed by Ralph Benedict, PhD, Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry. During the ceremony, Dr. Benedict described how the data automation has contributed to published manuscripts describing the employment challenges encountered by patients living with MS. Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, MD, Professor of Neurology, outlined plans for the aging in MS studies.
ARMS board members include Rita Andolina, Elizabeth Jacobs, Kristy Mazurek, Jane Montgomery, Penny Pennington, KC Sacca, Linda Safran, and Pamela Jacobs Vogt. In the photograph, ARMS board members are pictured with Drs. Benedict and Weinstock-Guttman.
The Dept. of Neurology residents, led by co-chief resident Pooja Sofat, MBBS, have again received a Graduate Medical Education Quality Improvement Award. The 2014-15 recognition from the Univ. at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences was awarded for the residents’ project entitled “Time is Brain: Preventing Delays in IV tPA in Acute Stroke Patients.” The neurology department provides clinical support for what is the busiest stroke service in the State of New York. Dept. of Neurology faculty member Dr. Nick Silvestri serves as Program Director for the residency training program, and Drs. Robert Sawyer and Marilou Ching provide senior level direction for the stroke program.
Lawrence Wrabetz, MD, Professor of Neurology and Biochemistry and Director of the Hunter James Kelly Research Institute, has been named a University at Buffalo/SUNY Distinguished Professor. Only one other faculty member of the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences received the honorary title this year, which goes into effect September 1, 2014. Dr. Wrabetz joined the Dept. of Neurology in 2011, after being recruited from the San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan, Italy where he led the myelin biology program. Dr. Wrabetz’s research focuses on the biology and pathophysiology of myelin disorders in both the central and peripheral nervous system, including leukodystrophies and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. His laboratory studies several animal models to help understand how myelin, the protective coating lining the projections from neurons, is injured or fails to develop properly and what types of approaches may help reverse the process. His institute is named for Hunter James Kelly, a Western New York boy whose life was impacted by Krabbe Disease, a form of leukodystrophy.