Harlan Robins, PHD


Dr. Robins leads our scientific research and development teams. He is also currently the Computational Biology Program Head at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC). He obtained his bachelor’s degree at Harvard University as a physics major with a concentration in mathematics. He then obtained his Masters and Ph.D. in theoretical physics (string theory) from the University of California Berkeley with a visiting appointment to the California Institute of Technology (“Caltech”). Dr. Robins obtained a postdoctoral appointment in theoretical physics in the particle theory group at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Interested in the mathematics behind genetics and observing the potential utility of high-level mathematics to study problems in the biological sciences, Dr. Robins took another postdoctoral appointment at the Institute for Advance Study in Princeton to study under the famed biologist Dr. Arnold Levine. Working with Dr. Levine, Dr. Robins concentrated on developing bioinformatic algorithms for micro RNA targets and bacterial genome analysis, a precursor to his current faculty appointment at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in the Computational Biology Group, Public Health Sciences and Human Biology Divisions. In 2009, Dr. Robins was the recipient of the Ellison Award from the Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholars Program to support new investigators of outstanding promise in the basic biological sciences. Dr. Robins was also granted the Keck Foundation Medical Research Award in 2010, along with Dr. Christopher Carlson, to support their work at the FHCRC in advanced DNA sequencing methods to measure past and present pathogenic exposure in humans. Along with Chad Robins, Dr. Robins was recognized as one of Goldman Sachs 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs in 2015 and won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year® Award in the Pacific Northwest in 2017.