Robert A. Gross MD, PhD, FANA, 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, earning the MD and PhD (Pharmacology) degrees (1981). He interned in Medicine at the Jewish Hospital in St. Louis and completed residency in Neurology 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, where he is Associate Chair for Academic Affairs (Neurology). He sees patients in the Strong Epilepsy Center, with a particular interest in the pharmacology of anti-seizure drugs.
Research interests have centered on various aspects of cellular neuropharmacology (regulation of voltage-gated Ca channels by neurotransmitters and therapeutic compounds, regulation of hippocampal neurogenesis by seizures and chemotherapeutic drugs). Collaborative efforts have focused on mechanisms of excitotoxicity. He was involved in several clinical trials of novel anticonvulsants and served on 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. 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 program for medical students that centers on 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 Research, Educational and Career Development 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 students design cutting-edge research programs to effect changes in clinical care over a decade. He teaches in AAN Annual Meeting courses, including the Career Development course. He has developed mentoring programs for residents, fellows and faculty in the Department of Neurology.
He served as an Associate Editor of Neurology® for 8 years, two of which were as Deputy Editor. He is the current Editor-in-Chief of the Neurology® journals.
He is a fellow of the ANA and AAN, and a member of the American Epilepsy Society. Dr. Gross was active in the Epilepsy Foundation of the Rochester, Syracuse and Binghamton regions (currently Epilepsy-Pralid, Inc.), and was a past President of the Board.
He has appeared on the PBS program "Second Opinion" and on local radio shows on the topic of epilepsy.