James Robb (pathologist)

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James A. Robb is an American pathologist and molecular virologist.

Robb has a BA in theoretical physics from the University of Colorado. In 1965, he began medical studies at the University of Colorado Medical School, where he took his MD degree. He took a residency in pathology, as well as training in molecular biology, at Yale University, then went to work at the National Institutes of Health. He has been a professor at the University of California, San Diego, a consulting pathologist at the National Cancer Institute, and director of anatomic and molecular pathology at Cedars Medical Center in Miami, Florida.[1] He is board certified in anatomic pathology, clinical pathology, cytopathology, and dermatopathology.

During the 1970s while he was at UC-San Diego, Robb published some of the earliest descriptions of coronaviruses.[2] He co-wrote the chapter on coronaviruses in the book Comprehensive Virology[3] and has published extensively on the subject.[4][5] In February 2020, he wrote a "Dear colleagues" open letter detailing his advice on how to avoid contracting COVID-19 and similar diseases. In March 2020, this open letter received multiple on-line re-postings and obtained wide attention.[2][6][7]


  1. ^ "James Robb , A Consulting Pathologist At The National Cancer Institute (NCI) , Joins CloudLIMS Scientific Advisory Board". Biospace. April 15, 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b Kasprak, Alex (2 March 2020). "Did a Noted Pathologist Write This Viral Coronavirus Advice Letter?". Snopes. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  3. ^ Robb, James A.; Bond, Clifford W. (1979). "Coronaviridae". Comprehensive Virology. pp. 193–247. doi:10.1007/978-1-4684-3563-4_3. ISBN 978-1-4684-3565-8.
  4. ^ Robb, JA; Bond, CW (30 April 1979). "Pathogenic murine coronaviruses I. Characterization of biological behavior in vitro and virus-specific intracellular RNA of strongly neurotropic JHMV and weakly neurotropic A59V viruses". Virology. 94 (2): 352–370. doi:10.1016/0042-6822(79)90467-7. PMC 7131751. PMID 572112.
  5. ^ Bond, CW; Leibowitx, JL; Robb, JA (30 April 1979). "Pathogenic murine coronaviruses II. Characterization of virus-specific proteins of murine coronaviruses JHMV and A59V". Virology. 94 (2): 371–384. doi:10.1016/0042-6822(79)90468-9. PMC 7131175. PMID 572113.
  6. ^ Wynne, Karen (March 3, 2020). "Local microbiologist weighs in on advice from longtime coronavirus expert". ABC News 13. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Tips: Pathologist Offers Understanding and Tips on Avoiding Coronavirus". San Fernando Sun. 2020-03-04. Retrieved 2020-11-24.

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