We are excited to announce Nebraska Cures is honoring Dr. Howard Gendelman and his wife Dr. Bonnie Bloch at its 19th Annual Tribute Luncheon on Monday, April 25th, from noon to 1:00 p.m. at Happy Hollow Club in Omaha and virtually.

The significance of Dr. Howard Gendelman’s work cannot be overstated.  He is best known for his co-discovery of a cure pathway for HIV/AIDS and a new approach for treating Parkinson’s disease.  Along the way, he has also founded two biomedical research journals, trained over 50 scientists who have gone on to distinguished careers, and has won many of the awards given by the University of Nebraska in teaching and research together with dozens at the national and international levels.  

Dr. Gendelman arrived in Omaha 29 years ago from Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. His position at the University of Nebraska Medical Center was to launch a neuroscience research laboratory and see patients with infectious disorders. A laboratory of neurovirology was forged, followed by a research center and a Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience. The department was ranked at 89th in the nation when he was the named chair.  Within five years it was listed in the top ten NIH-drivers in pharmacology; a position held to this day.

Dr. Gendelman and his group were amongst the first to see a complete reversal of what was formerly called AIDS dementia. His discoveries went well beyond the confines of HIV and the nervous system. Using parallel scientific approaches, he was able to re-build a damaged immune system in both experimental forms of Parkinson’s disease and more recently in humans with the disease.

Dr. Gendelman is also an entrepreneur, founding or co-founding two biotechnology companies, Brain FIRST and more recently Exavir Therapeutics. 

Dr. Bonnie Bloch holds her undergraduate degree from Brandeis University where she studied philosophy and natural sciences. She then earned her law degree at Boston University prior to completing her medical school studies. During her rotation in internal medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine-Bronx Municipal Hospital she met Howard in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

Devoting her life to family she led the Omaha Burke High School Medical Academy program. She guided the development of the Friedel Jewish Academy, first as a board member then as president. She also served as president of Beth Israel Synagogue guiding its successful transition to its current West Omaha campus. She chaired the performing arts committees at the Jewish Federation of Omaha. As educational director of the same, she worked with doctors in Israel’s Western Galilee to field an emergency preparedness program. She also led the Omaha Jewish Federation of Omaha’s community educational program. For these efforts she was awarded the Ruach of Federation and Community leadership awards from the Jewish Federation of Omaha.

For more details about the event and to purchases tickets, go to our event page.