Gilbert Glaser Fund for Neurology Established at Yale School of Medicine

The inaugural Gilbert H. Glaser, M.D., Lecture will be held at Yale School of Medicine May 15 in honor of Gilbert H. Glaser, M.D., professor emeritus at Yale who is widely acknowledged as one of the founders of neurology.

The Gilbert H. Glaser, M.D., Fund for Research and Education in Neurology recently was launched at Yale School of Medicine by a generous gift from the Glaser family. The fund will remain at Yale in perpetuity and will provide support for students, fellows and junior faculty who wish to embark upon careers combining research and clinical skills. The fund also supports a series of annual lectures honoring Glaser.

“It is an honor for our department to house this fund named for Gilbert Glaser, who helped to launch neurology as a medical specialty and added so much to our understanding of epilepsy and of methods such as electroencephalography,” said Stephen Waxman, M.D., chair of the Department of Neurology. “This gift will help us to perpetuate Dr. Glaser’s heritage of excellence in research, clinical work and the training of the next generations of neurologists.”

The speaker at the 4 p.m. lecture May 15 will be Timothy A. Pedley, M.D., the Henry and Lucy Moses Professor and chair, Department of Neurology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and neurologist-in-chief at The New York-Presbyterian Hospital at Columbia University Medical Center. The title is “Development of Epilepsy: The Silent Period Revisited.” The talk will be held in the Donald Cohen Auditorium at the Yale Child Study Center. The public is invited.

Glaser graduated from Columbia College and the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. His residency in neurology was with Houston Merritt, who developed the drug dilantin, at the Neurological Institute of Columbia University. From 1946 through 1948 he served as director of the electroencephalography (EEG) laboratory at Brooke Army Medical Center. Glaser served as an assistant attending and chief of the neurology clinic at the Neurology Institute in New York prior to moving to Yale in 1952 as assistant professor and head of the section of neurology. He became professor of neurology at Yale in 1963 and was part of a vanguard that established neurology as a distinct medical specialty, separate from internal medicine. Under his leadership at Yale, the Department of Neurology was established in 1971 and he served as chair until 1986.

Glaser’s work in neurology and neuroscience as both an investigator and a teacher advanced both disciplines nationally and internationally. In the area of epilepsy, his research expanded treatment through surgical and non-surgical techniques. His program was one of the first to identify the specific location of epileptic discharge and to remove it surgically. He was a leader in understanding how anticonvulsant drugs work and which seizures are best treated by the drugs that were available. His students were among the first to describe the clinical characteristics of seizures of the frontal, parietal and occipital lobes. Renowned for such clinical excellence and pioneering research, Yale’s epilepsy program was one of the nation’s first and has evolved into one of the most active and advanced in the world.

Glaser is the recipient of many awards, including the W. G. Lennox Award of the American Epilepsy Society in 1963. He served as president of the American Academy of Neurology from 1973 through 1975 and as president of the American Epilepsy Society in 1963. He was appointed editor of the journal Epilepsia in 1958, serving in that capacity through 1976, and served on the editorial boards of many journals, including the Journal of Neurological Sciences, Archives of Neurology and the Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases.

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