Notable Alums

Robert H.

Specialty: Immunology & Microbiology

Graduation Year: 1979

Robert H. Wiltrout

Robert H. Wiltrout, Ph.D., ’79, recently retired after almost 36 years with the National Institutes of Health, including more than a decade as director of the Center for Cancer Research and scientific director for Basic Research at the National Cancer Institute. He is serving part-time as senior scientist/special advisor to the acting director of the NCI.

After receiving his doctorate in Immunology and Microbiology from the Wayne State University School of Medicine, Dr. Wiltrout completed postdoctoral studies with Ronald Herberman, M.D., at the NCI.

Dr. Wiltrout was recruited to government service at the NCI in 1981, and was promoted to tenured senior investigator at the NCI’s Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center in 1983, and head of its Experimental Therapeutics Section in the Laboratory of Experimental Immunology. He also served as NCI’s associate director for NCI-Frederick. He became the scientific director for Basic Research and director of NCI’s Center for Cancer Research in 2005. He also has been an organizer and/or plenary speaker at numerous national and international symposia, with his research focused on immunotherapy of cancer, the regulation of immune responses to tumors and mouse models of liver cancer.

Dr. Wiltrout holds six patents connected to immune response and hematopoietic regulation, and is the author of more than 200 scientific publications on innate immunity, inflammation and cancer immunotherapy.

He has been a member of the American Association of Immunology, the American Association of Cancer Research, the Society for Leukocyte Biology and the Society for Biological Therapy, and has served on the editorial board of The Journal of Leukocyte Biology. In addition, he has served as a member of the American Cancer Society’s Scientific Advisory Committee for Immunology and as a visiting professor of Immunology at the University of Rome, Italy.

Dr. Wiltrout received an NCI Special Service Award in 1988, awards for outstanding service from the NCI Biological Response Modifiers Program in 1987, 1988, 1991 and 1993, NIH Merit Awards for Leadership of NCI-Frederick and to the Division of Basic Sciences in 2001, the 2009 Career Achievement Award from the Department of Health and Human Services, the 2009 Laboratory Director of the Year Award from the Mid-Atlantic Region Federal Laboratory Consortium, the Exceptional Service Award from the International Society for Biological Therapy in 2010, and the 2010 National Laboratory Director of the Year Award from the Federal Laboratory Consortium.