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Gerhard Levy

Published August 16, 2017

Gerhard Levy, SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Pharmaceutical Sciences and a pioneer in drug development, died Aug. 3 in Sarasota, Florida. He was 89.

Levy, who spent nearly his entire academic career at UB, was widely considered a pioneer in the fields of pharmacokinetics — the study of how drugs are distributed and eliminated by the body — and pharmacodynamics — the study of the action of drugs on the body. He was the first pharmacist named to the prestigious Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. The principles developed by Levy and his students and colleagues formed the foundation of drug development and rational drug dosing.

Levy is remembered by colleagues as an engaging teacher and inspirational role model, colleague, friend and mentor, as well as a groundbreaking scientist.

“Gary Levy earned great respect as a teacher, with insightful and stimulating lectures and discussions; was highly innovative as a researcher, recognizing basic mechanisms of drug disposition and actions that established the foundations of the field of  pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics; provided great integrity and leadership in all of his professional activities; and was a mentor and friend to his students, fellow faculty members and many colleagues throughout the world,” says UB colleague William J Jusko, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

“We are greatly saddened that he is no longer with us, but cherish the memories of our interactions of this exemplary scientist and warm and sincere person.”

Levy joined the faculty of the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1958 after earning a BS in pharmacy and a PharmD from the University of California, San Francisco. He retired from UB in 2000.

He received many national and international awards, among them the Høst Madsen Medal from the International Pharmaceutical Federation, the Oscar Hunter Award in Experimental Therapeutics from the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the Volwiler Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and the Takeru Higuchi Research Prize from the American Pharmaceutical Association.

He was also the recipient of 20 honorary lectureships at various universities and venues, and six honorary doctorates.