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David Grob, MD, Myasthenia Gravis Expert, Dies at 89

David Grob, MD, a pioneer in myasthenia gravis (MG) research who was recognized internationally for his expertise in neuromuscular diseases, died on March 23. He was 89 years old.

Murali Pagala, PhD, director of neuromuscular research at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY, and a longtime associate of Dr. Grob, told Neurology Today that Dr. Grob and colleagues A. M. Harvey, MD, and R. J. Johns, MD, at Johns Hopkins “produced the most comprehensive papers on the clinical physiology of MG” in the late 1950s, and “in these papers were the first seeds of the clinical etiology of MG being a post-junctional defect.”


DR. DAVID GROB (1919–2008)

Over the course of his career, Dr. Grob examined new treatment modalities for MG including corticosteroid therapy, high dose immunoglobulin therapy, and plasmapheresis, as well as thymectomy.

Dr. Grob worked for 50 years at the Maimonides Medical Center, serving as chairman of the department of medicine from 1958–1989. He was the medical director of the Maimonides Research and Development Foundation from 1982 to his retirement in 2006.

Edgar Lichstein, MD, current chairman of the department of medicine at Maimonides, worked with Dr. Grob for over 30 years, and praised his friend's careful medical technique, the compassion he showed for his patients, and his outstanding teaching ability.

His most recent journal article — he is credited with over 200 publications — was “Lifetime Course of Myasthenia Gravis,” published in collaboration with Dr. Pagala in the February 2008 Muscle & Nerve.

He is survived by his children, Charles, Philip (both physicians), Susan, and Emily; and grandchildren, Stephanie, Jana, Alexandra, and Brett.

Those making donations in his memory are asked to donate to The Maimonides Research Foundation, c/o Ilona Albisano, Department of Medicine, Maimonides Medical Center, 4802 10th Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11219.