Dr. Donald Gilden, 1937-2016


Drs Vollmer  Gilden
Dr. Timothy Vollmer (left)
with Dr. Donald H. Gilden.
Dr. Donald H. Gilden, former Chairman of the Department of Neurology, University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, passed away on August 22 after a long illness. Dr. Gilden served as Chairman of the Department of Neurology from 1985 to 2009, and remained an active member of the faculty until his death.
 
Dr. Gilden played a pivotal role in the history of the Rocky Mountain MS Center. As head of the Departmnet of Neurology, he helped bring the RMMSC nonprofit and the MS Clinic as it existed at the time together to establish the current partnership between the hospital, university and nonprofit organization now known as the Rocky Mountain MS Center at University of Colorado. He also played a direct role in bringing Dr. John Corboy, Dr. Timothy Vollmer and Dr. Augusto Miravalle to the RMMSC at CU team.
 
Authoring or contributing to more than 400 medical papers through his career, Dr. Gilden published more than 60 papers on multiple sclerosis, many dealing with potential viral causes of the disease.
 
Leading the MS Basic Science Research Program, Dr. Gilden helped assemble the team who were at the front end of returning to studying oligoclonal bands and B lymphocytes in MS more than 20 years ago. At the time, B lymphocytes were not being seriously studied by MS researchers, yet the work of that basic science team has led to breakthroughs, most notably the expected approval of Ocrelizumab later this year. 
 
Dr. Gilden received his BA from Dartmouth College, his MD from the University of Maryland, and completed Neurology residency at the University of Chicago and postdoctoral fellowship in neurovirology at Johns Hopkins. He was Professor of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania and the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia before moving to Colorado.