New Biomedical Science Chair Named  

Janet D. Robishaw, Ph.D., is joining the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University as the new chair of the Department of Biomedical Science.
Dr. Robishaw is a Senior Scientist and Associate Director at the Weis Center for Research at Geisinger Health System in Central Pennsylvania.
An accomplished genomics researcher with decades of sustained federal funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. Robishaw trained under Nobel Laureate Dr. Alfred G. Gilman and will be the first female department chair in the College of Medicine.
Beginning in September, Dr. Robishaw will lead a department of more than 20 faculty members, with plans for rapid growth. She succeeds Keith Brew, Ph.D., who has been chair since 2006. He will remain with the College as a faculty member and continue to conduct NIH-funded research on the development of novel treatments for osteoarthritis.
“In a highly competitive pool of candidates, Dr. Robishaw was the top choice of College leadership, as well as the departmental faculty,” said Arthur J. Ross III, M.D., M.B.A., Interim Dean of the College. “Dr. Robishaw has robust experience in administration, education, training and research. Her genomics research will augment and complement FAU’s rapidly growing research enterprise.”
FAU recently established new research institutes in neuroscience and aging, as well as other areas. The neuroscience institute director, Randy Blakely, Ph.D., is also a member of the Department of Biomedical Science, and the new aging institute director, James Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., is a faculty member in the College’s Department of Integrated Medical Science. Both new institutes are expected to interact substantially with Dr. Robishaw’s research program and the Department of Biomedical Science in general.
“Dr. Robishaw’s addition to the College of Medicine will greatly accelerate our emerging clinical and translational research efforts across a spectrum of health conditions,” said Galvin. “Her work will provide immediate as well as long-term benefits to the residents of Palm Beach County and South Florida.”
Dr. Blakely echoed Dr. Galvin’s sentiments. “I am delighted to have Janet as both my colleague and my chair. Her research program in receptor signaling pathways adds needed depth in this area, and is one that impacts multiple disciplines, from cancer to neuroscience. I anticipate working closely with her on broad institutional programs through the Brain Institute, as well as on faculty and research development in the Department of Biomedical Science.”
Funded by the NIH for more than 30 years, Dr. Robishaw’s research focuses on the part of the human genome called the G-protein coupled receptor signaling pathways that represent targets for more than 60% of all biomedical drugs on the market.
“Dr. Robishaw’s research has enormous potential to improve the health and well-being of patients with a wide variety of medical conditions, with opportunities for global impact,” said John W. Newcomer, M.D., the College’s Vice Dean for Research and Innovation who served as chair of the search committee. “We’re excited that this work will now be done in the College of Medicine.”
Dr. Robishaw holds a doctoral degree in cellular and molecular physiology from The Pennsylvania State University and conducted her postdoctoral training at the University of Texas Health Science Center of Dallas. She earned her bachelor of science degree in chemistry and biology from Central Michigan University.