Robert A. Gross MD, PhD, FAAN graduated from Harvard College with an AB in Biology, summa cum laude, in 1975. He entered the Medical Scientist Training Program at Washington University, St. Louis, where he earned both the MD and PhD (Pharmacology) degrees (1981). He received the Cowdry Prize in Histology. He interned in Medicine at Jewish Hospital in St. Louis and his residency in Neurology was at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he served as Chief Resident. Faculty positions followed at the University of Michigan (1985-1991) and the University of Minnesota (1991-1994). Dr. Gross joined the faculty of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in 1994.
He sees patients in the Strong Epilepsy Center, with a particular interest in the pharmacology of anti-seizure drugs.
Research interests have centered on the regulation of neuronal ion channel activity by pharmacological agents and neurotransmitters and, more recently, the regulation of hippocampal neurogenesis by seizures and by chemotherapeutic drugs (as a mechanism of 'chemobrain'). Collaborative studies include investigations of the role of inflammation in epileptogenesis and various clinical trials, including participation in a multi-center task force to design trials to compare brand to generic AEDs. He was the recipient of the S. Weir Mitchell Award of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in 1988.
Dr. Gross' educational efforts are diverse. He is a former director of the interdepartmental Graduate Program in Neuroscience at the University of Rochester. He is the founding and current Director of the Academic Research Track, an innovative curriculum for medical students that prepares them for a year-out experience in medical research, often concurrent with Masters degree preparation. This program is funded by URMC's Clinical and Translational Science Award and he is a member of the grant's Educational and Evaluation Directorate. He serves on the design committee for the medical student course "Mind, Brain and Behavior" for which he provides 9 hours of lecture in neuropharmacology. He is the Director of a novel basic science course for fourth year medical students, the month-long "Process of Discovery," in which they design cutting-edge research programs to effect changes in clinical care over a decade. He teaches in AAN Annual Meeting courses and was responsible for the "Neuropharmacology" section of the Resident Basic Science Curriculum.
He has served as an Associate Editor of Neurology® since 2001, two of which were as Deputy Editor. He was appointed Editor-in-Chief in 2010.
He is a fellow of the AAN, and a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the American Neurological Association and the American Epilepsy Society. Dr. Gross is active in the Epilepsy Foundation of the Rochester, Syracuse and Binghamton regions, having served as a Chair of the Board of Directors.
He has appeared on the PBS program "Second Opinion" and on local radio shows on the topic of epilepsy.