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William Edward Robinson, Jr.
In Memoriam

William Edward Robinson, Jr.

Professor Emeritus, Pathology

UC Irvine

William Edward Robinson, Jr., was at the forefront of AIDS research. His NIH-funded research initially focused on the immune response to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Subsequently, Robinson devoted his efforts to the study of a specific viral protein called integrase, an essential enzyme required for HIV replication. Robinson and colleagues identified more than 100 compounds that inhibit integrase. This work provided the opportunity to better understand the molecular mechanisms of HIV replication, and the compounds held great promise as anti-HIV drugs.

Robinson developed an intense interest in virology while enrolled at Vanderbilt University Medical School in the 1980's and opted to work toward a Ph.D. in the laboratory of William Mitchell. After receiving both the Ph.D. and M.D. degrees, he continued his research at Vanderbilt as a post-doctoral fellow before assuming his faculty position in the UCI School of Medicine in 1992. Robinson's primary appointment at UCI was in the Department of Pathology (now the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine), and he had joint appointments in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and in the Department of Medicine.

In addition to his considerable scientific accomplishments, Robinson was named a Horned Frog at Texas Christian University, his undergraduate alma mater, where he had collaborated extensively on research with TCU professor of chemistry Manfred Reinecke. Among his many significant academic service contributions, Robinson was the co-organizer of the "Palm Springs Symposium on HIV/AIDS," the associate director of the UCI Medical Scientist Training Program, a member of the University of California University-wide Task Force on AIDS, the director of the UCI graduate program in Cellular and Molecular Biosciences, and the director of the California Center for Antiviral Drug Discovery. In addition, he was strongly committed to teaching and mentoring graduate students and medical students at UCI.

Robinson had a powerful intellect and a deep-seated curiosity that were brought to bear on many of his wide-ranging interests. His scientific camaraderie, lively wit, zest for life, and warm personal style will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and colleagues.

Edwin S. Monuki, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chair
Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Bert L. Semler, Ph.D., Professor
Microbiology and Molecular Genetics