SOPHIE DAVIS SCHOOL AT CCNY APPOINTS VACCINE PIONEER JOHN ROBBINS, M.D., HONORARY PROFESSOR

December 4, 2006 | City College

NEW YORK, November 30, 2006 — Dr. John B. Robbins, M.D., whose groundbreaking research in developing vaccines for childhood diseases has saved millions of lives around the world, is joining the faculty of The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at The City College of New York (CCNY) as an Honorary Professor.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, Dr. Robbins will write review articles on vaccine development for pediatric illnesses and teach in a course offered to biomedical students in Sophie Davis’ Microbiology and Immunology Department beginning in January. He retired recently from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he spent 26 years and his last position was Chief, Laboratory of Developmental and Molecular Immunity, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, in Bethesda, Md.

Dr. Stanford A. Roman Jr., M.D., Dean of the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, called Dr. Robbins’ appointment a tremendous addition to the faculty. “He’s a true giant in the field of vaccine research whose work has benefited millions around the globe.”

Most of Dr. Robbins’ research focused on developing vaccines for diseases prevalent among infants and children. In collaboration with Dr. Rachel Schneerson, M.D., he developed a vaccine to eradicate bacterial meningitis caused by Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), a deadly and debilitating infectious agent and the leading cause of acquired mental retardation in children. Its use led to a dramatic decline in meningitis and other systematic infections such as osteomyelitis and pneumonia. Other diseases he has worked on include typhoid fever and pertussis.

In addition to his National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine memberships, Dr. Robbins’ honors include the Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Research, the World Health Organization’s Pasteur Award and the Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal.

A graduate of New York University, Dr. Robbins attended medical school at the University of Göteborg in Sweden and received his medical doctorate in 1959. He completed his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and was a research fellow at the University of Florida.

About The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education

Now in its 33rd year, the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education offers a unique seven-year BS/MD program that integrates an undergraduate education with the first two years of medical school. After five years at Sophie Davis, students transfer seamlessly to one of six medical schools: Albany Medical College, Dartmouth Medical School, New York Medical College, New York University, SUNY Downstate Medical Center or Stony Brook University for the final two years of medical education and their MD degree.

The Sophie Davis School’s mission is to increase the accessibility to careers in medicine for inner-city youth from New York City, especially minorities underrepresented in medicine, and to train primary care physicians to serve in medically underserved communities. Approximately 43 percent of Sophie Davis students are African-American or Hispanic, a level unequalled at other U.S. medical schools.

Contact: Jay Mwamba, 212/650-7580, jmwamba@ccny.cuny.edu