ESP Staff Bio
Robert J. Robbins
(founder, editor, technical developer)
Robert Robbins served as Vice President for Information Technology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle from 1995-2009.
From 1993-1995, he was Program Director for Bioinformation Infrastructure in the Office of Health and Environmental Research of the U.S. Department of Energy, while on leave from his faculty positions in Computer Science and in Medical Information at Johns Hopkins University.
During 1991-1993, Robbins was on the faculty at Johns Hopkins University, serving as Director of the Applied Research Laboratory in the William H. Welch Medical Library, Director of Informatics of the Genome Data Base, Associate Professor of Medical Informatics, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Computer Science.
Prior to joining the Hopkins faculty in 1991, he was Program Director for Database Activities in the Biological, Behavioral, and Social Sciences at the National Science Foundation. Before going to NSF, Robbins was on the faculty at Michigan State University, with appointments in Zoology and Biological Science.
In 2001 Robbins was one of the co-founders of BRIITE — an organization that hosts regular meetings to support the exchange of information technology tools and expertise among biomedical research institutions. Robbins was a participant in the NCI-sponsored caBIG program (cancer biomedical informatics grid) from its inception.
Robbins is frequently called upon to provide advice on IT issues associated with the application of information technology to life-science research. For example, he was a founding member of the National Science Foundation's Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure and he served six years on NSF's Biological Sciences Advisory Committee.
He received his Ph.D. in zoology from Michigan State University in 1977. He also holds an A.B. in Chinese and Japanese history from Stanford University. His current interests include computer applications in biology, computational genomics, database theory and design, and the management of biological knowledge.