Robert H. Notter, M.D., Ph.D.

Robert H. Notter, M.D., Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 850
Rochester, NY 14642

Office: (585) 275-5948
Administrative: (585) 275-5948
Fax: (585) 756-7780
Lab: (585) 275-4929

Professional Bio

Robert H. Notter, M.D. (1980, with distinction in research, University of Rochester)
Ph.D. (1969, Chemical Engineering, University of Washington)
M.S. (1965, Chemical Engineering, Stanford University)
B.S. (1964, Chemical Engineering, Stanford University)

Professor of Pediatrics and Environmental Medicine, University of Rochester (1989-present)

Past positions:
Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of Rochester (1983-2003)
Professor of Biomedical Engineering, University of Rochester (2001-2004)
Director of Research, Division of Neonatology, University of Rochester (1990-2000) Director of University-wide Program in Biomedical Engineering, University of Rochester (1984-1995)

Research awards:
*Health Leadership Award in Research, March of Dimes (2005)
*Two time principal investigator and program director for National Institutes of Health (NIH) Special Center of Research (SCOR) in Lung Biology and Disease in Infants and Children at Rochester (1989-1997)
*Research Career Development Award, National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute (NHLBI) of NIH (1981-1986)
*Principal investigator of multiple individual NIH RO1 research grants on lung surfactant activity, inhibition and replacement (1980-present)
*NIH young investigator award, NHLBI (1975-1976)
*NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship award in Bioengineering (1969-1971)
*American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) research award, Stanford University (1964)
*NSF undergraduate research award, Stanford University (1962)

Teaching awards: Outstanding Teacher in the College of Engineering, Penn State University (1976)

Other activities:
*Associate Editor, American Journal of Physiology: Lung Cellular and Molecular Biology (1997)
*Member of NIH Working Group on Lung Development (1992)
*Elected to Perinatal Research Society, Society for Pediatric Research, Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi
*Author of over 250 scientific papers and abstracts, plus the book Lung Surfactants: Basic Science and Clinical Applications (Marcel Dekker, 2000)
*Senior editor of Lung Injury: Mechanisms, Pathophysiology, and Therapy (Taylor Francis, 2005)
*Co-editor of Surfactant Replacement Therapy (Wiley Interscience, 1989)

Research interests:
Pulmonary surfactant; bioengineering; lung injury
Molecular Biophysics of Phospholipids and Proteins
Biomedical Engineering

Research Bio

Research in the Notter laboratory focuses on lung surfactant, a complex mixture of lipids and proteins that is essential for normal respiratory function. Lung surfactant deficiency in premature infants leads to the neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (NRDS), and surfactant dysfunction (inhibition, inactivation) is important in the pathology of clinical acute lung injury (ALI) and the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) that occur in patients of all ages. The prevalent and lethal syndromes of ALI/ARDS can result from direct pulmonary insults like viral or bacterial pneumonia, gastric or meconium aspiration, lung contusion, hyperoxia, lung transplant, or radiation pneumonitis or from indirect extra-pulmonary causes like sepsis, shock, burn injury, long bone fracture, pancreatitis, or bone marrow transplant. A major focus of our on-going NIH-funded multi-university collaborative research is on developing new highly-active synthetic exogenous surfactants for treating NRDS and direct pulmonary forms of ALI/ARDS.

This includes basic and translational NIH Bioengineering Research Partnership (BRP) studies on the molecular design and biophysics of novel amphipathic peptides having structural homology to active surfactant proteins (SP) like SP-B, and the surface and pulmonary activity of synthetic surfactants containing these peptides combined with novel phospholipase-resistant lipids or synthetic biologic lipids. Also studied is the use of exogenous surfactants not just to reverse surfactant dysfunction in ALI/ARDS, but also to deliver added pharmacologic agents or exogenous DNA to concurrently target other aspects of the complex pathology of ALI/ARDS (edema, vascular dysfunction, inflammation). Our research at Rochester over the past three decades helped to develop clinically-significant first-generation surfactant therapy for premature infants with animal-derived drugs, and this is now being extended using sophisticated bioengineering principles to define new fully-synthetic lung surfactants for treating NRDS and direct pulmonary forms of ALI/ARDS.

Awards & Honors (National)

Two time NIH Pulmonary SCOR Director (NHLBI) 1989 - 1997
Elected to Perinatal Research Society 1985
Research Career Development Award, National Lung Institute 1981 - 1986
Above the 95th percentile for total NIH research funding over the 25 year period 1980 - 2005. 1980 - 2005
NIH Young Investigator (National Lung Institute) 1975 - 1977

Awards & Honors (Local)

Health Leadership Award in Research | March of Dimes 2005
Dinstinction in MD Research, University of Rochester School of Medicine 1980
Outstanding Teacher in College of Engineering, Penn State University, PA 1975 - 1976
Outstanding Senior Chemical Engineer, Stanford University 1964
American Society for Testing Materials Award, Stanford University 1964
NSF Undergarduate Research Award, Stanford University 1962 - 1963


Novel Synthetic SP-B and SP-C Peptides and Their Use in Synthetic Exogenous Lipid/Peptide Lung Surfactants

United States Serial NO.: 14/376,726
Filed Date: February 11, 2013
Title: Novel SP-B and SP-C Peptides, Synthetic Lung Surfactants, and Use Thereof
Invented by: Robert Notter, Alan Waring, Adrian Schwan, Zhengdong Wang, Larry Gordon, Frans Walther

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 158 available »

Willson, D; Egan, EA; Notter, RH. "Exogenous surfactant in the pediatric patient." Pediatric and Neonatal Mechanical Ventilation, Rimensberger PC (Ed.): Springer-Verlag. 2011; .
Raghavendran, KR; Willson, D; Notter, RH. "Surfactant therapy of ALI/ARDS." Crit Care Clin. 2011; .
Willson,D; Notter, RH. "New Horizons. The future of exogenous surfactant therapy." J Respir Care. 2011; .
2010 Jan 13
Walther FJ, Waring AJ, Hernandez-Juviel JM, Gordon LM, Wang Z, Jung CL, Ruchala P, Clark AP, Smith WM, Sharma S, Notter RH. "Critical structural and functional roles for the N-terminal insertion sequence in surfactant protein B analogs." PloS one. 2010 Jan 13; 5(1):e8672. Epub 2010 Jan 13.
2009 Oct
Yee M, Chess PR, McGrath-Morrow SA, Wang Z, Gelein R, Zhou R, Dean DA, Notter RH, O'Reilly MA. "Neonatal oxygen adversely affects lung function in adult mice without altering surfactant composition or activity." American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology. 2009 Oct; 297(4):L641-9. Epub 2009 Jul 17.

Current Appointments

Professor Emeritus - Department of Pediatrics, Neonatology (SMD) - Primary
Professor Emeritus - Department of Environmental Medicine (SMD)


MD | Medicine | University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry1980
PhD | Chemical Engineering | University of Washington1969
MS | Chemical Engineering | Stanford University1965
BS | Chemical Engineering | Stanford University1964

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Bioengineering Postdoctoral Fellowship, NIH (NHLBI), University of Washington, Seattle, WA 1971