College Science Professors Pedal for a World Free of MS

Paul Roepe, professor of chemistry and Team Georgetown teammate, prepares to pedal hard for Bike MS.

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UPDATED September 9, 2019 – Team captain Jeff Urbach reports “we had a great day of riding, covering over 400 miles (combined, of course), raised over $7,000 for the MS Society, and won Rookie Team of the Year!” Photos below of the team pre- and post-ride.

Original article posted below:

August 30, 2019 – Is pedal power the key to wiping out Multiple Sclerosis (MS)? It could be for one team of researchers at Georgetown College, although probably not in the way that you might think.

Jeffery Urbach, Professor, Chair, and Interdisciplinary Chair in Science and the Department of Physics, has assembled “Team Georgetown” for the upcoming Bike MS ride, a charity ride to raise funds for the National MS Society. This team is made up of seven College science faculty (three from the Department of Physics, three from Biology, and one from Chemistry), and so far, have raised over $2,500 for the cause. “Our goal is to surpass $5,000,” Urbach states. The event takes place on September 8, 2019.

Personal Connection

Money raised from events like this helps fund much needed research to find a cure and to slow progression of the disease, to fund clinical trials, and to assist people living with the disease.

Physics Professor Jeff Urbach biking the C&O towpath
Jeff Urbach, photographed by Team Georgetown teammate Peter Olmsted, at the start of their three-day ride along the C&O canal towpath from Cumberland to Georgetown in May. Paul Roepe also joined for the last stretch, marking the unofficial start of Team Georgetown.

This, and a love for riding with his colleagues, is why Urbach decided to pull a team together. “We wanted to ride together for a good cause, and on a personal level, I wanted to provide optimism for newly diagnosed people.” Urbach was diagnosed with the disease in 2016, and fortunately has had no recurrences since being treated. “It was pretty scary when I was first diagnosed, but the treatments seem to be working and there has been little impact on my life, and I can still commute by bike, which is critical for my sanity. Also, I’ve been fortunate to have Dr. Robert Shin from the Georgetown University Medical Center Department of Neurology as my doctor. He knows his stuff and is incredibly supportive, including encouraging me to organize a GU team for the ride.”

This team helping to raise funds for MS is an example of how Georgetown’s Cura Personalis spills over into the lives of all its community members. Plus, doing things together outside the office/lab/classroom for a good cause is just plain fun.

“We all ride with Jeff because biking is more fun in a group,” states Paul Roepe, professor of chemistry and team member. Roepe is also an avid cyclist. “I love riding with Jeff because his bike has more miles on it than his car.”

Go Team Georgetown

Team Georgetown is excited to participate in the event. Members of the Georgetown community are encouraged to support the cause by visiting their team page, keep track of their progress, and cheer them on as they pedal their way to a cure.

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