Accelerating Breakthrough Discoveries into Medicines

Robert B. Wilson, MD, PhD

Robert B. Wilson, MD, PhD

Robert B. Wilson, MD, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA,and an Attending Physician in the Clinical Molecular Pathology Laboratory at University of Pennsylvania Medical Center.

His research laboratory focuses on the development of small RNA therapeutics and biological tools. Dr. Wilson and his team successfully designed and synthesized the first short-hairpin-loop RNA (shRNA)-expressing library that is completely random at the nucleotide level. The library is used to select and optimize the most effective – and least toxic – small RNAs to be used as therapeutics or biologic tools. Ultimately, sequences identified from the shRNA library will be used to develop therapeutics for cancer, infectious diseases, and genetic disorders, as well as to develop tools for cell-based therapeutics.

Dr. Wilson earned bachelor’s degrees in music and biochemistry from Brown University, Providence, RI, and his MD and a PhD in genetics from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. He completed his residency training in clinical pathology and his fellowship training in transfusion medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He also was a post-doctoral researcher in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Dr. Wilson is a practicing clinical pathologist in the Molecular Pathology Laboratory of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a founding member of the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) Board of Directors and served as FARA’s first Scientific Director. Dr. Wilson has earned several prestigious research and teaching awards and published many original research articles as well as reviews and book chapters. His research has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Ataxia Foundation, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the McCabe Fund, the American Cancer Society and the University of Pennsylvania.

Harrington Project

The Harrington Discovery Institute is the nonprofit arm of the Harrington Project for Discovery & Development, an international initiative supporting breakthrough research by physician-scientists. The Project is a new and powerful approach to address some of the challenges hindering advancement of medicine today.

The Harrington Grant is an important part of the overall pharmaceutical research initiative created by The Harrington Project.