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Merlin Robb, M.D.

Senior Clinical Research Physician

Dr. Merlin Robb advises on clinical research activities for MHRP and WRAIR's Emerging Infectious Diseases branch. He also serves as Chief Medical Advisor for the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. (HJF).

Dr. Robb served as the HJF HIV Program Director for MHRP from 2002 to 2019. From 1990 to 2002, he served in the MHRP and occupied a leadership role in the Department of Vaccine Development, MHRP, WRAIR. Dr. Robb is a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the United States Army Medical Corps. He is a board-certified pediatric infectious disease specialist with research experience in molecular biology; neutralizing antibody assay development; perinatal and pediatric HIV research; HIV correlates of protection research; HIV immuno-therapeutic trials; the design and conduct of Phase I, II and III clinical trials; and the strategic planning and organization of full vaccine development programs for East Africa. 

Dr. Robb was instrumental in developing MHRP’s vaccine development efforts in East Africa and contributed to the recently completed Phase III HIV vaccine trial in Thailand as a member of the steering committee and head of the pharmacovigilance activity. During his time as MHRP's clinical deputy director, he was protocol chair for the landmark study (RV217),  a prospective cohort of individuals from East Africa and Thailand at high risk for HIV infection. Results from this study were published in 2016 in The New England Journal of Medicine, and it is providing key insights into the acute stages of HIV infection and a platform to conduct HIV cure research.

Dr. Robb serves as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences (USUHS), Bethesda, Md., and as Infectious Disease Specialist, Pediatric Infectious Disease Fellowship, USUHS and Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC. He has served on and chaired numerous competitive peer review committees for NIAID and NICHD. He was the Data and Safety Monitoring Board Chair for PENPACT and served as a member of the NIAID Therapeutics Data and Safety Monitoring Board from 2000 to 2008.

Dr. Robb completed his internship and residency from 1981 to 1984 at Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Wash., and was a Fellow in Pediatrics Infectious Diseases at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC. from 1988 to 1990. He graduated from Baylor College of Medicine with his M.D. degree in 1981.