Investigates evolution, development, and disease relevant to the human condition utilizing advanced molecular, cellular, and stem cell biology approaches.
Dr. Robson is a molecular cell biologist utilizing advanced technologies to understand the cellular composition of tissues, their development, and progression to disease. After graduate school (University of Toronto/Hospital for Sick Children) and postdoctoral studies (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) he started his independent laboratory at the Genome Institute of Singapore in the heart of Southeast Asia living less than a mile from the primary rain forest where Sir Alfred Russel Wallace began his field studies leading to his seminal work described in The Malay Archipelago. In Singapore, Dr. Robson made significant contributions to our understanding of the transcriptional regulatory programs controlling pluripotent stem cells and preimplantation development. An advocate of the Cell Theory defining the cell as the basic structural unit of all living systems, his lab was one of the first to exploit single cell technologies to identify molecular mechanisms of cell fate decisions. Shortly thereafter he established the Single Cell Omics Center in 2012 to provide access to this empowering technology to the Singapore research community. In October 2014 he moved back to North America, joined JAX, and established the Single Cell Biology Laboratory. He holds an adjunct faculty position in Genetics and Genome Sciences at UConn Health and is faculty in the Genetics and Developmental Biology and the Neuroscience areas of concentration in the UConn Health Graduate School.
In his current lab he continues to exploit advanced tissue mapping technologies and pluripotent stem cell differentiation strategies to understand human biology at single cell resolution. There is a particular emphasis on testing the antagonistic pleiotropy hypothesis of George C. Williams, specifically focusing on understanding features of the human genome that have changed to establish molecular and cellular innovations in embryo implantation unique to primates. Understanding such genomic features and associated biological processes are relevant to female infertility/women’s health, cellular senescence pathways in aging, and tumor-stromal cell interactions, in addition to many other aspects of human biology.