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$1 Million Gift Funds First Philly Dake Chair in Movement Disorders

ALBANY, N.Y., July 30, 2014 — Albany Medical College has announced the creation of an endowed chair made possible by a $1 million gift from the Philly and Charlie Dake Foundation. Neurologist Adolfo Ramirez-Zamora, M.D., has been named the first Philly Dake Chair in Movement Disorders.

Dake’s family founded local icon, Stewart’s Shops, in 1945 and Dake, who lived in Saratoga Springs, was well-known for her philanthropic support of many local institutions, including Albany Med. She served as executive vice president of Stewart’s until her death at age 85.

Dake and her husband Charlie, who died in 1978, both served on boards at Albany Medical Center. Philly served on Albany Medical Center’s Board of Directors from 1982 to 1990, and offered financial support to a variety of programs throughout the years. She was awarded the Partners in Leadership Award in 2004 as the Individual Philanthropist of the Year.

An endowed chair is an elite faculty position financially supported by the funds generated by the investment of a gift designated as an endowment. Plans for the new chair were initially made by Dake in 2009 to assist a friend who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Later, Dake herself was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, a condition her family says she lived with bravely and one which ultimately took her life in 2012. Huntington’s and Parkinson’s are both considered “movement disorders.”

In her lifetime, Dake also supported research efforts aimed at finding cures and new treatments for Huntington’s, an inherited disorder that causes progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain, affecting movement and muscle tone.

Dr. Ramirez-Zamora, an assistant professor of neurology, specializes in the management of Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, tremors, gait disorders, dystonia and other movement disorders. His work is focused on the latest treatments of disorders of motor control with emphasis on clinical trials and the use of botulinum toxin for treatment of neurological diseases. Dr. Ramirez-Zamora has a strong interest in brain neurophysiology to investigate how abnormal neuronal firing leads to symptoms in these conditions. Additionally, his research and practice include the use of deep brain stimulation, which enables electrical impulses to be sent to the brain to treat movement disorders.

He completed a fellowship in movement disorders at the University of California, San Francisco, a neurology residency at Loyola University of Chicago, and internships at Bassett Healthcare, Cooperstown, and Mercy Catholic Medical Center in Philadelphia. He received his medical degree from Autonomous University of Guadalajara, Mexico.

“Dr. Ramirez Zamora has demonstrated his clinical prowess in this field of neurology,” said Vincent Verdile, M.D, dean of Albany Medical College and executive vice president for Health Affairs for Albany Medical Center. “We are very grateful for this generous legacy Phyllis Dake left to Albany Medical College. This endowment will no doubt help fulfill her mission of furthering our understanding of devastating neurological conditions.”

Albany Medical Center, northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center, is one of the largest private employers in the Capital Region. It incorporates the 734-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital, which offers the widest range of medical and surgical services in the region, and the Albany Medical College, which trains the next generation of doctors, scientists and other healthcare professionals, and also includes a biomedical research enterprise and the region’s largest physicians practice with more than 400 doctors. Albany Medical Center works with dozens of community partners to improve the region’s health and quality of life. For more information: or


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Sue Ford
Extension: (518) 262 - 3421

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