American Philosophical Society
Member History

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Resident (1)
2. Biological Sciences[X]
209. Neurobiology[X]
1Name:  Dr. John B. Robbins
 Institution:  National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health
 Year Elected:  2002
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  209. Neurobiology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1932
 Death Date:  November 27, 2019
John B. Robbins received an M.D. from New York University in 1959. He was a guest scientist at the Weizmann Institute for Science, Israel (1965-66), then became assistant to associate professor of pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (1967-70). In 1970 he became the clinical director, then chief, of the Developmental Immunology Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health. From 1974-83 he was director of the Bacterial Products Division, Bureau of Biologics, at the Federal Drug Administration. He returned to the National Institutes of Health in 1983 to serve as Chief of the Laboratory of Developmental and Molecular Immunity in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, where he is currently Senior Investigator. John Robbins made the most important advance in the past half century in preventing diseases caused by encapsulated bacteria such as the influenza bacillus and pneumococcus, among others. By chemically coupling to protein the capsular polysaccharides of pathogenic bacteria, which are poor antigens in infancy, he developed conjugate vaccines, one of which has all but eliminated infections caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b, the commonest cause of bacterial meningitis in childhood. Similar conjugate vaccines for preventing pneumoccocal infections in infancy and typhoid fever show promise of comparable efficacy. Robbins has also made fundamental contributions to the understanding of so-called "natural immunity." Dr. Robbins is the recipient of the E. Mead Johnson Award of the American Academy of Pediatrics (1975), the Albert Lasker Clinical Research Award (1996), and the Albert Sabin Gold Medal (2001). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2002. John Robbins died November 27, 2019 in New York, New York at the age of 86.
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