David W. Robinson, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology, School of Medicine
  • Professor of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine
  • Interim Executive Vice President and Provost


David W. Robinson, Ph.D., is currently Professor and Executive Vice Provost at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon

David was born and raised in rural North Yorkshire, England, before obtaining a B.Sc. in Physiology at University College London and a Ph.D. at Cambridge University. In 1992 he moved to the United States to do post-doctoral training at the University of California at Davis, where he subsequently became a research track faculty member before moving to OHSU in 1997.

David holds a faculty appointment in the School of Medicine in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology with a joint appointment in the Department of Ophthalmology. David’s research interests have been directed toward gaining a better understanding of the role played by retinal development in the maturation of the circadian and visual systems. Dr. Robinson also led the OHSU participation in the NCRR funded eagle-i Consortium, which was established to build a prototype of a national research resource discovery network to help biomedical scientists search for and find previously invisible, but highly valuable, research resources. He also recently served as the Program Director for the HRSA funded Oregon Area Health Education Center at OHSU.

Dr. Robinson’s responsibilities as an educator have included teaching and directing courses in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and Allied Health programs, serving as advisor to three graduate students in OHSU’s Neuroscience Graduate Program and Integrated Biomedical Sciences program, and leading the selection and implementation of an OHSU-wide learning management system (Sakai) and the establishment of the Teaching and Learning Center at OHSU.

At OHSU, Dr. Robinson’s administrative work began as the Senior Technology Advisor for Research and Education in 2000. Subsequent to that, he served as Vice Provost for Academic Technology (2006), Director of Educational Communications (2006), Interim University Librarian (2008), Vice Provost for Academic Technology and Information Services (2008), Interim Provost for Education and Research (2009), and Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (2010) before receiving his current appointment as Executive Vice Provost (2011).

In his current role, Dr. Robinson directly supports the Provost in her leadership and oversight of the academic mission at OHSU and collaborates with other members of OHSU Leadership on institution-wide research and administrative initiatives. David also supports the Provost on OHSU’s statewide workforce initiatives, K-12 STEM outreach programs, state appropriation budget development and management, and the relationship with Oregon’s public universities.

Dr. Robinson has been the OHSU faculty representative to the Federal Demonstration Partnership (http://www.thefdp.org/) since 2002. The FDP is an over 30 year old association that presently comprises 10 Federal Agencies and 155 academic institutions with more than $15 billion in federal research grants. In 2008 David was elected for a 3-year term to the position of Vice Chair and, as a member of the Executive Committee, continues to work closely with senior staff members from the FDP’s Federal Agency partners to improve the administrative processes involved with receiving funding from the Federal Government.

Dr. Robinson was recently a member of the Congressionally requested National Academies of Sciences “Committee on Federal Research Regulations and Reporting Requirements: A New Framework for Research Universities in the 21st Century”. The Committee's final report "Optimizing the Nation's Investment in Academic Research, A New Regulatory Framework for the 21st Century" was released at a public briefing on June 29, 2016.  



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