Dr. Erle Robertson received his B.S. in Microbiology from Howard University in 1987, and his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Wayne University in 1992. He moved onto Harvard Medical School to complete his post-doctoral training. Dr. Robertson was an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan Medical School before joining the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently a Professor of Microbiology, the Director of the Tumor Virology Training Program, and the Vice Chair of Research for the Department of Otorhinolaryngology. Dr. Robertson runs a Virology lab with over 10 post-doctoral fellows, and has produced over 165 publications, including 7 books.
The laboratory of Dr. Robertson is geared towards the elucidation of viral induced oncogenesis. The areas of investigation includes basic molecular mechanisms related to understanding the contributory roles on oncogenic human gammaherpesviruses. His group is engaged in studies understanding the role of critical viral antigens and their contributions to cell proliferation through usurpation of many cellular functions leading to dysregulatory activities. His team also is involved in many studies geared towards understanding the role of the microbiome in cancer and the dysbiotic activities that can contribute to neoplastic events. His group is also developing a drug discovery program with lead compounds that are now being used for development of more efficient analogs that are less toxic and has better solubility for delivery, and are more bioavailable in preclinical animal trials.