World-renowned UB professor Robert Genco dies Wednesday morning


Longtime UB Distinguished Professor Dr. Robert Genco died Wednesday morning in Foster Hall during a meeting with colleagues, according to UB officials. 

“Dr. Genco was a world-renowned scholar, educator, mentor, innovator and entrepreneur who was exceptionally committed to our university throughout his long and distinguished career,” UB President Satish Tripathi said in a statement. 

University Police and Emergency Services arrived at Foster Hall at 9:07 a.m. on Wednesday and performed CPR on Genco, but were unable to revive him, UB spokesperson John DellaContrada said. DellaContrada did not know the cause of death, as of Wednesday night. 

Genco, 80, a professor of oral biology, periodontics and microbiology in the School of Dental Medicine had been working at UB since 1968. He led UB’s Microbiome Center and was previously the vice provost of UB Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach. He published more than 395 scientific papers and he and his colleagues were among the first researchers to connect gum disease with heart disease and stroke, according to the UB website. He also helped launch more than 80 companies in Western New York while he was vice provost of STOR. 

“Our hearts go out to Dr. Genco’s wife, Frances, his son, Robert, and his daughters, Julie Alford and Deborah Powell; to all of his colleagues in the School of Dental Medicine and across the university; and to the countless students whose lives he touched over more than five decades at UB,” Tripathi said. 

“Dr. Genco was always an invaluable source of support, perspective and leadership to me personally, and to our entire university community. I know I speak on behalf of our entire UB family when I say that he will be sorely missed.” 

Email: eic@ubspectrum.com