RUSH University is saddened to share the news of the passing of Tibor T. Glant, MD, PhD, DMSc, the former Jorge O. Galante, MD, DMSc, Professor of Orthopedic Surgery in RUSH Medical College. He died peacefully in Chicago with his family at his side on October 5 after a long illness. Glant was 78.
Glant joined RUSH University in 1988 as associate professor of orthopedic surgery and biochemistry. In 1997, he was appointed as the Galante Professor and the director of the Section of Molecular Medicine in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. Glant retired from RUSH University in 2019 after 30 years of service.
Glant’s research revolved around the immunology, genetics and epigenetics of rheumatoid arthritis and spondyloarthritis. He had a long-standing interest in and commitment to the training of medical students, scientists and physician-scientists in histopathology. In addition to mentoring faculty members and pre- and postdoctoral trainees in his laboratory, he was a primary investigator of numerous grants funded by the National Institutes of Health.
“Tibor had a profound impact on musculoskeletal research at Rush by setting a high standard for the quality and depth of his scientific approach and by training a generation of researchers to pursue the molecular basis of musculoskeletal disease in order to identify novel targets for prevention and treatment,” says Joshua J. Jacobs, MD, chairperson of the RUSH Department of Orthopedic Surgery.
Glant received his MD and PhD degrees from the Medical University of Debrecen, Hungary, and his Doctor of Medical Sciences degree from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest, Hungary. He completed his medical residency in pathology and internal medicine/rheumatology and was involved in clinical practice, teaching and research at the Medical University of Debrecen.
In 1983, he was invited to conduct full-time research in the Joint Diseases Laboratory of Shriners Hospital in Montreal, Canada, where he serendipitously discovered proteoglycan-induced arthritis, a mouse model of human rheumatoid arthritis. In 1995, Glant was awarded the Carol-Nachman Prize in Rheumatology, an international award, for his work on this new animal model.
In 2017, Glant and his longtime scientific partner and wife Katalin Mikecz, MD, PhD, professor of orthopedic surgery and biochemistry, along with CEL-SCI Corporation, received a $1.5 million grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases to support development of a rheumatoid arthritis vaccine.
For more than 25 years, his research was funded by the NIH, the National Arthritis Foundation and the Grainger Foundation. During his career, Glant authored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and several book chapters. He served as a member of numerous scientific review groups of the NIH, and as an editorial board member of several journals.
Glant received numerous awards and professorships including the Honoris Causa Professorship at the University of Pécs, Hungary, and Pfizer visiting Professorship in Rheumatology at the University of Oregon Health Science Center (now Oregon Health & Science University). In 2007, he was elected a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Glant is survived by his wife, his son Tibor, daughter Henriette and granddaughter Olivia. “Tibor was a great scientist, friend and confidant — he will be sorely missed by the scientific community at large and by his colleagues at RUSH,” Jacobs says.
Funeral services will be held in Glant’s native Hungary. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to support the Jorge O. Galante, MD, DMSc, Professorship of Orthopedic Surgery. Please send memorial checks, made out to "RUSH University Medical Center" to the RUSH Office of Philanthropy, 28057 Network Place, Chicago, IL 60673-1280 or visit rushgiving.com/galantetribute.