Dr. Robert I. Fox received his undergraduate degree (BS, summa cum Lauda in Biophysics) from the Honors College of the University of Michigan.
He then completed the combined M.D.-Ph.D. (Medical Scientist Training Program) at Harvard Medical School and Albert Einstein College of Medicine with Ph.D. (Molecular Biology and virology).
His research training included training at Cold Spring Harbor (lab of Dr. J.D. Watson), Cambridge (Trinity College) in UK, and Sloan Kettering in New York City.
The main part of his research for his Ph.D. was done at Mass General Hospital (Dr. Jake Maizel and Dr. Stephen Krane) in Boston while his early research career was aimed towards oncology.
From 1974 to 1980, he completed his clinical internship and residency in internal medicine at Stanford University, followed by his Rheumatology fellowship also at Stanford University.
During his clinical training at Stanford, he was also allowed to conduct research studies starting in 1974 in the laboratory of Dr. Irving Weissman of the Stem Cell Institute at Stanford.
His research involved the potential role of "oncogenes" in inflammatory disease and using the immune system to develop anti-cancer therapies.
In studies in collaboration with Syntex, he first discovered the use of mycophenolic acid (now called Cell Cept) as part of an anti-rheumatic drug screen.
His early experience at Stanford involved the development of monoclonal antibodies for cell sorting (flow cytometry) and then polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for gene detection.
These would later be the focus of his studies on disease genetics and therapy as he travelled to different countries to compare the genetic and environmental factors underlying Sjogren's syndrome.
He joined the faculty of Scripps Medical and Research Foundation in 1980 with emphasis on Sjogren's syndrome and the use of molecular techniques he had learned at Stanford and Cambridge.
He continued in both the Clinical Department of Rheumatology and research in the Department of Cell Biology (laboratory of Dr. John Vaughan) where he was involved in discovery of antimetabolites 2-cDA and leflunomide.
He combined his clinical research interests and his rheumatology clinic as the head of the GCRC (General Clinical Research Center) where new therapies were used in clinical trials.
The first trials of Enbrel and Humira, Leflunomide, Evoxac and Restasis for Sjogren's leading to FDA approval were done in the Scripps.
He served on FDA as a board member and also as a invited lecturer to CBER (part of FDA) on the use of anti-rheumatic drugs.
He was also appointed as one of the initial Skaggs Fellows in Clinical Research at Scripps, allowing him to interface with multiple basic research labs (including 5 different Nobel Laureates) for development of novel therapies.
He was at the Scripps Clinic location from 1980 until 1999, when he moved to the Scripps-Ximed Medical group, which is located on the main campus of Scripps Memorial Hospital (1999-present).
Dr. Fox specializes in the pathogenesis and treatment of Sjögren’s syndrome, Dr Fox has over 350 peer reviewed articles on treatment of antirheumatic diseases.
He has written two textbooks on Sjogren's syndrome and continues to edit the Sjogren's syndrome section for both UpToDate and Dubois's "Lupus" textbook.
He has served as Editor for a number of journals and further pursued research interests through his role as principal investigator in multicenter clinical trials and his own NIH funded research programs.
Additionally, Dr Fox serves as a member of a number of advisory boards such as the ACR Advisory Board for Sjogren’s Syndrome and the Advisory Board for the National Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation.
Dr. Fox has been involved in collaborative for over 15 years with research groups at The Scripps Research Institute as a Skaggs Fellow and was the recipient of The Broadhurst Distinguished Fellow for an alumni of Harvard Medical School.
He is married to Carla Martin Fox and they have 3 girls and now 5 grandchildren. He and his wife have been active in WHO (World Health) working in remote areas including Tibet, India, China, Burma, as well as in South America, Europe and Scandinavia
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