Robin Black

College of Medicine – Tucson
Year Entered Program: 
About Me: 

Hi, I’m Robin! I was born and raised in rural Oregon. My childhood was filled with cows, cranberries, fruits, veggies, and lots of hard work. I am excited to attend the University of Arizona College of Medicine- Tucson for my MD/PhD education.

I earned my Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and an emphasis in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at the University of Oregon. I became interested in biomedical research when I took a position at the University of Oregon’s Zebrafish International Resource Center. I transitioned to the lab of Dr. Karen Guillemin, where I studied host-microbe interactions in a Type-1 diabetes zebrafish model that were critical in pancreatic beta cell proliferation. This is when I began to fall in love with research.

While at the University of Oregon, I volunteered at White Bird Medical Clinic in Eugene, Oregon. Undoubtedly, this is the most impactful experience I had that pushed me to pursue a career in medicine. While providing resources to enable physical well-being through direct service, education, and community, I developed a strong passion for the care of underserved populations. Combined with my rural upbringing, I am passionate about healthcare accessibility.

Following my time at the University of Oregon, I took a post-baccalaureate position in the lab of Dr. Kelly Ten Hagen at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research - National Institutes of Health. In Dr. Ten Hagen’s lab, I studied O-linked glycosylation in Drosophila larval salivary glands both in vivo and in silico, using single cell RNA sequencing. My research focused on understanding the developmental pathways and signaling of salivary gland secretory granule packaging and secretion.

After 3 years at this position, I moved to the University of Arizona. I’m excited to pursue meaningful research and cultivate skills to become a compassionate and holistic medical scientist. My current research interests are immunology and cellular & molecular medicine. I am also excited to advocate and serve disadvantaged communities in Tucson and beyond.

Outside of medical school and research, I enjoy powerlifting and attempting to befriend almost every animal.

Honors, Presentations, and Awards:

Invited Speaker: Knight Campus Undergraduate Scholars 2023

DiscoverBMB Conference Poster Presentation 2023

NIDCR Data Session Presentation 2022

NIDCR Fellows’ Scientific Training Presentation 2022, 2023

NIH Postbac Poster Day Presentation 2021, 2022

            - Outstanding Poster Award

Health Science Communications and Policy Workshop 2022

Certificate of Completion of Single Cell RNA Seq Analysis Program 2021

Inaugural Knight Campus Undergraduate Scholar 2019-2020

Biology Honors Thesis 2020

UO Women in Graduate Science Summer Research Scholarship 2019