San Antonio – Timothy Raabe, Ph.D., current chair and professor of Biological Sciences at St. Mary’s University School of Science Engineering & Technology, has been named the first Benjamin F. Biaggini Endowed Chair of Biological Sciences at St. Mary’s University.

Raabe received his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from Texas State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He performed a postdoctoral fellowship at Loyola University Medical Center. Since graduate school, Raabe’s research has focused on the proper functioning of the nervous system. At St. Mary’s University, Raabe works with his students examining signaling between different cell types found in the nervous system that ensure proper development during embryonic stages and that may be disrupted during diseases states. By studying a specific type of growth factor, Raabe and his students are working to unlock the potential of therapeutic benefits of these growth factors that could lead to treatments for diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and diabetic neuropathy.

“Dr. Raabe is a wonderful example of St. Mary’s great faculty champions who are dedicated to giving our students the personal attention they need to succeed,” said Winston Erevelles, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Science Engineering & Technology. “Through the establishment of the endowed chair, Dr. Raabe will now have access to additional resources to continue St. Mary’s long tradition of training tomorrow’s doctors and medical professionals today.”

Benjamin F. Biaggini received his B.S. in Mathematics from St. Mary’s in 1936. He was president and CEO of now Southern Pacific Transportation Company, previously known as Southern Pacific Railroad. Biaggini served on the St. Mary’s University Board of Trustees from 1968 to 1970, was awarded an honorary doctorate by St. Mary’s in 1965, and was honored by the Alumni Association in 1973 as a Distinguished Alumnus. He was widely admired by friends and co-workers as a mentor and avid supporter of the sciences and education, as well as community endeavors.

Biaggini passed away in the spring of 2005. The Endowed Chair was established by Biaggini’s former colleagues and personal friends with a $1 million gift. The Chair is a lasting legacy to his ideals of supporting academic excellence and scholarly research in the biological sciences.

In addition to the chair, the endowed research program will provide faculty members with release time to further their research, help purchase equipment, and create the Biaggini Scholars program, providing scholarships and giving students the opportunities to work on research projects with faculty members.

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