In Memoriam: Robert Wolf, D.V.M.
By: Will Sansom
Robert H. Wolf, D.V.M., former director of laboratory animal resources (LAR) at UT Health San Antonio, died April 15 in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was 76.
Dr. Wolf is survived by his wife, Judy; three children and seven grandchildren; and many friends.
Dr. Wolf—“Bob” as he liked to be called—joined UT Health San Antonio in 1987 as LAR director and professor with tenure in the Department of Pathology. In 1988, he was cross-appointed as professor in the Department of Surgery.
Dr. Wolf was instrumental in the expansion of animal facilities outside the Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long Campus (where the original vivarium had been constructed by the 1970s). The long list of projects that benefited from Dr. Wolf’s steady leadership, understanding of design and insightful veterinary expertise included vivariums in the:
· Institute for Biotechnology in 1990
· South Texas Centers for Biology in Medicine in 2000
· Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute in 2004
· Sam & Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity & Aging Studies in 2005
“For nearly 19 years Bob directed the lab animal resources department, pouring the foundation for what is now one of the most highly accredited LAR departments in the nation,” according to a special edition of Mission, the UT Health San Antonio magazine, published in 2006.
The special issue honored Dr. Wolf and his wife, Judy Petty Wolf, upon their retirement from the institution. Judy Wolf served UT Health San Antonio from 1989 until 2006 and retired as senior vice president for external affairs.
“With his determination and superior grant-writing skills, Dr. Robert Wolf was fundamental in garnering more than $1.8 million in funding for vital medical research, securing $3 million for new animal facilities and $3 million in National Institutes of Health funding for LAR renovations,” according to the special issue.
He accomplished all this while being kind and wise, understated and peaceful in his demeanor, many friends have observed.
In 1999 and 2000, Dr. Wolf served on an ad hoc Core Research Facilities Committee that reviewed the status of core research facilities at UT Health San Antonio. The committee, chaired by Bettie Sue Masters, Ph.D., was charged with providing a report and recommendations on improving shared resources and developing new facilities to enhance campus research.
Today’s core research facilities, which range from biobanking and genome analysis to mass spectrometry, optical imaging and X-ray crystallography, undoubtedly benefited from the leadership and vision of Dr. Wolf and the other members of this important committee.
In his private life, Bob was a Civil War history aficionado, and the Wolf home contained many interesting artifacts. He also loved to visit battlefields such as Gettysburg and soak in the nation’s historical fabric.
A memorial service will be held May 20 in Little Rock.