Genomics researcher named associate dean at college

Dr. Janet Robishaw
Dr. Janet Robishaw

Janet D. Robishaw, Ph.D., has been named associate dean for research and graduate studies at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, following a national search.

Her appointment by the college’s dean, Dana Zimmel, D.V.M., is effective Aug. 15.

Robishaw is the senior associate dean for research and chair of the department of biomedical science at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. She has held the position since 2017, and has been a tenured professor and chair of biomedical science at the college since 2016.

From 1987 to 2016, Robishaw worked in key roles, including staff scientist, senior scientist and associate director at the Weis Center for Research, Geisinger Health System, in Danville, Pennsylvania. She directed research education for the Geisinger Clinic at the Weis Center for Research, and has served as president and CEO of SignalPlex, a Danville-based biopharmaceutical company developing anti-angiogenesis compounds for age-related macular degeneration, since 2004.

Between 1997 and 2000, she was a tenured professor in Pennsylvania State University’s College of Medicine department of cellular and molecular physiology.

Robishaw received her bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University with a double major in chemistry and biology, followed by a Ph.D. in physiology from Penn State’s College of Medicine. Her doctoral research focused on characterizing the biochemical mechanisms underlying cardiac energy metabolism.

Her postdoctoral training was conducted in the laboratory of Dr. Alfred G. Gilman at the Southwestern Medical School, University of Texas Health Sciences Center. Robishaw’s postdoctoral research revolved around the structure, function and first molecular cloning of the newly discovered heterotrimeric G-proteins that play prominent roles in health and disease. Her work contributed to the 1994 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine that was awarded to Gilman’s team.

Her research program has been continuously funded for more than 30 years by the National Institutes of Health, with a current focus on the identification of human disease-associated genetic variants contributing to disease risk and treatment response. Her transdisciplinary approach uses genomic analysis of large patient cohorts to identify potential disease variants followed by assessment of their disease-causing mechanisms in relevant human cellular and animal models.

“I’m delighted to welcome Dr. Robishaw to our team,” Zimmel said. “Her background and experience will be a huge asset to our biomedical research mission and the translational work we do to advance animal and human medicine.”