Bob received a B.S. in Biology from St John's University in Minnesota, a Ph.D. in Physiology and Pharmacology from the University of California - San Diego (including two research expeditions to Antarctica), and did postdoctoral research at Brandeis University in Waltham and at New England Medical Center in Boston before becoming an Assistant Professor at Dartmouth in 1989. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Physiology and Neurobiology and the Department of Biochemistry in the Geisel School of Medicine, and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychological Brain Sciences and the Department of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth College.
Bob is a cellular and molecular neurobiologist with research interests in neuronal development, neurotrophic factors, electrical excitability, and developmental aspects of neurodegenerative diseases, and was the first Dartmouth faculty member to receive a coveted Sloan Research Fellowship. Support for his research has also come from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as the Epilepsy Foundation, Hereditary Disease Foundation, National Neimann Pick Disease Foundation, and Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation. He has served on and chaired numerous scientific advisory boards and grant review panels for NIH and the National Science Foundation (NSF), including the NSF review panel for course, curriculum, and lab implementation (CCLI) proposals.
Bob is passionate about teaching, and in the past 25 years has taught a broad spectrum of medical students, graduate students, undergraduate students, and high school students in both the classroom and a variety of laboratory settings. This includes extensive teaching experience at Dartmouth College, where by invitation he has served as the course director for a systems neuroscience course and lab (2010-present), for a physiology course and lab (2009-present), a molecular and cellular neuroscience course (2007-present), and an advanced neurobiology course (2006). He has mentored more than two dozen students in their Honors Thesis Research, including recipients of the "Christopher Reed Biologist Award for distinguished biological research". He has served as the founder and co-director of a summer undergraduate nursing research program at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (2010-present), as a member of the steering committee for the undergraduate neuroscience major (2010-present), and as a member of the committee on undergraduate research (CUGR) at Dartmouth (2013-present). In 2013 he was one of two nominees from Dartmouth College for New Hampshire Professor of the Year. Beyond the confines of Dartmouth, Bob has taught at Hanover High School (2005-present) and Stevens High School (2010), as well as teaching and helping design teaching activities at River Valley Community College (2011-present). In the past several years (2010-present) a major focus has been serving as a leader of the New Hampshire IdeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (NH-INBRE), a large NIH-supported initiative for developing research and science education opportunities for students at primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs) across the state of New Hampshire.
At the graduate student level, Bob is a member of both the Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) graduate program and the graduate Program in Experimental and Molecular Medicine (PEMM). As such he has served as a lecturer in MCB graduate student core course (1999-2003), course director and lecturer in the PEMM graduate student core course (2006-2013), and as a lecturer in the PEMM 211 and PEMM 271 graduate courses (2008-2010). He has trained nearly a dozen MD, PhD, and MD/PhD students in his lab, including recipients of the "Strohbehn Medal for Excellence in Biomedical Research". He has served as Co-Director of the prestigious "Ion Channels" summer course at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (1996-1998), and twice has served as a course faculty member in the Woods Hole summer Neurobiology course (1988; 2004). At the Geisel School of Medicine, Bob has been a fixture in the Medical Neuroscience course (1990-present) and for his efforts has been nominated for the Excellence in Education Award on numerous occasions (2010, 2011, 2012). He is involved in the medical curriculum redesign, and serves on several Redesign Task Force committees (2011-present).
Bob is currently mentoring faculty in the design of effective presentations, the design of student lab activities and inquiry-based experimental exercises, course development and organization, teaching in small and large group environments, and student mentoring.